America and West Indies
December 1735, 16-31

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Institute of Historical Research

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1953

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139-150

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'America and West Indies: December 1735, 16-31', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 42: 1735-1736 (1953), pp. 139-150. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=72837 Date accessed: 29 August 2014.


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December 1735, 16-31

Dec. 16.
Whitehall.
212. Mr. Popple to Mr. Johnston. Capt. Burrington having inform'd my Lords Commissioners etc. that the late Mr. Little constantly kept a day book by which the several patents for land, as likewise tracts not plotted out, appear; and that his widow, to whom it can be of no manner of use, has it now in her possession, desire you will endeavour to procure and transmit it etc. [C.O. 5, 323. ff. 112 v., 113.]
Dec. 16.
Whitehall.
213. Mr. Popple to Mr. Fane. Encloses, for his opinion in point of law, Act of Barbados, empowering the Treasurer to pay a certain sum of money to the Lady Howe. [C.O. 29, 16. p. 43.]
Dec. 18.
Whitehall.
214. Mr. Popple to Mr. Attorney and Mr. Solicitor General. My Lords Commissrs. for Trade and Plantations command me to send you the inclosed state of a case relating to any power a Govr. in the Plantations may have to vote as a Councillor, and to desire your opinion upon the Queries thereto annexed. Annexed,
214. i. The Government of H.M. Plantations in America consists of a Govr., Council and Assembly; these three have the power of making laws vested in them, and the Govr. has a negative upon every Act pass'd by the Council and Assembly. The Council sits in two capacities viz: as one part of the legislature, and as a Council to advise and assist the Govr. in all political cases. And the Govrs. are restrained by their Instructions not to act without the advice and consent of the majority of them in many cases. Query therefore, whether in any case the Govr. can sit and vote as a Member of the Council. On the death or absence of a Govr. the President of the Council, if there be no Lieut. Govr. upon the place, always acts as Govr., till a new Govr. is appointed by H.M. Query, is the said President then capable of acting and voting as a Councillor, during the time he acts as Govr., and represents the King. [C.O. 324, 12. pp. 126–128.]
Dec. 18.
Whitehall.
215. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Cunningham. Having been informed that Major Ayscough, late President of the Council and Commander-in-Chief at Jamaica, is dead, we take this opportunity of acquainting you with our having received a letter from him of the 16th of last August wherein he informs us of some success the Jamaica parties have had against the rebellious negroes which we are glad to hear. The Act which was pass'd in June 1735, entituled An Act for the better settling and securing the Island and resting several parcels of land in the Crown, and for building of barracks and fitting out of parties for the reducing the rebellious negroes, and cutting of roads, seems to us, the most probable method of preserving the Island from any dangers it may be expos'd to from them, as it will open and keep up a communication throughout the Island, we therefore desire you will give all suitable encouragement to the execution of the said Act. As to martial law, which has of late much been made use of, but now expir'd, we hope you will never revive the same, but in cases of the greatest extremity. We wrote to Majr. Ayscough on the 17th of June, and on the 4th of Sept. last (of which lettrs. we now send you copies) the first upon the subject of an Enquiry made by the House of Commons, and the last in relation to the state of the Island; to both these, we desire your answer as soon as may be, and that you will send us, at the same time, an exact State of the Council of the Island: and as occasion happens, an account of all transactions in your government (where we hope your are now safely arrived) particularly with regard to the rebellious negroes, who we hope are now almost entirely reduc'd. [C.O. 138, 18. pp. 58, 59.]
Dec. 18.
Whitehall.
216. Mr. Popple to Lt. Governor Gooch. An Act was passed in Virginia, 1723, chap. 4th, entituled An Act directing the tryal of slaves committing capital crimes; and for the more effectual punishing conspiracies and insurrections of them, and for the better Government of Negroes, Mullattoes, and Indians, bond or free, by which free negroes are deprived of the priviledge of voteing in any election; My Lords Commissrs. etc. have lately had occasion to look into the said Act, and as it carries an appearance of hardship towards certain freemen, meerly upon account of their complection, who would otherways enjoy every priviledge belonging to freemen, I am commanded to desire you will let me know, for their lordships' information, what were the reasons which induced the Assembly to pass this Act; and it being now many years that the Act has been in force I am likewise to desire you will inform me what is your own and the general opinion of the same at present. [C.O. 5, 1366. pp. 134, 135.]
Dec. 18.
Whitehall.
217. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Mathew. Acknowledge his letters etc. of July—Sept. Continue:—With regard to the Act pass'd by the Council and Assembly of Montserrat for raising a duty of fourpence a ton upon all shipping to be paid in mony in order to purchase arms, for the use of the Island we very much approve your having refused your assent to it, not that the design of the Act was wrong in its self, but because you are instructed not to pass any Act of this nature. And H.M. having now been graciously pleased to order stores of all sorts to be sent to the Leeward Islands in general, we do not think it necessary to make any other observation upon this subject. We are glad to find that you have been able to prevail with the inhabitants of the Island of Nevis, to build a fortification for their own safety and defence, and we hope soon to hear of its being compleated. But with regard to what you have inform'd us of, in relation to the little Governments you have erected in the Virgin Islands, we can say nothing to you, until we shall have received your answer to what we wrote upon this subject, in our letter to you of the 13th of Augst. last. [C.O. 153, 16. pp. 39, 40.]
Dec. 18.
Whitehall.
218. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Belcher. Since our letter to you of the 10th of September last, we have received yours of the 19th of August, three of the 23rd, and one of the 28th of October with the several publick papers you therein mention to be inclosed : among which we have read the Conference you had with the Indians at Deerfeild, and we are glad to see thereby, that they are in so good a temper : But we must observe upon this occasion, that altho' presents are said to have been made to these Indians, yet you have not thought fit to inform us, either what the said presents were, or the value of them. [C.O. 5, 917. p. 154.]
Dec. 19.
New York.
219. Governor Cosby to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Replies to letter and enquiries of 17th June :—All the duties and impositions that were laid on trade and were subsisting in this Province in 1731 were laid in 1728 by the Act to repeal some parts and Continue other parts of an Act therein mentioned etc. Duties enumerated. An Act of 1732 repealed this Act and re-enacted the like duties till Sept. 1st, 1737. Describes other Acts of 1731 and 1734. Encloses Acts passed last session ; i–v Acts continuing Acts for farming the Excise, regulating the Militia, clearing and laying out high roads in Ulster and Albany, and for support of H.M. troops at Oswego. (vi) "An Act to receive and Continue the currency of the bills of credit therein mentioned untill the end of the year 1739. The fund on which these bills of creddit were struck not answering the expectations of the Assembly, there are many of them not yet sunk, and that fund being afterwards appropriated to the sinking of other bills of creddit cannot till the year 1740 be further apply'd to the sinking of them, it was thought absolutely necessary to pass this Act which gives the paper money its former creddit. An Act to prevent damages by some in the precinct of Goshen etc. This Act carry's its reason in the preamble. An Act for naturalizing William Cornelius etc. This and other Acts of the like kind are necessary to incourage foreigners to settle among us," etc. Encloses Minutes of Council, 5th April— 24th Nov., 1735. Signed, W. Cosby. Endorsed, 9th, Read 13th Feb., 1734/5. 5 ½ pp. [C.O. 5, 1058. ff. 28–30 v., 31 v.]
Dec. 19.
Whitehall.
220. Saml. Gellibrand to Mr. Fane. In the absence of Mr. Popple encloses Act passed of Pennsylvania for the more effectual vesting and settling certain lands in George McCall, pursuant to the Covenants and agreements of all the parties having any interest in the same ; for his opinion thereupon in point of law as soon as conveniently may be. [C.O. 5, 1294. p. 83.]
Dec. 22.
New
Providence.
221. Governor Fitzwilliam to the Council of Trade and Plantations. 'Tis but two days since I was honoured with your Lordships' letters of 17th June and 8th Aug., in obedience to which I have in the first place herewith transmitted an account of what laws were in force in this Government on 25th March, 1731, and also what other laws have been since pass'd, by which any duties or impositions have been laid on the trade and shipping of Great Britain ; and likewise an account of all the duties or impositions, which are now received and payable by virtue of any Act etc. In reply to enquiry of Aug. 8th, refers to letters of 4th Dec, 1733, and states that he swore into the Council William Steward and Chaloner Jackson in place of Richard Thompson and William Pinder deed. Continues: In my letter of 2nd July, 1734, I acquainted your Lordships I had sworn in Thomas Lorey, who, upon examining my letter-book, and the Council Journals, I find was in the room of William Whetstone Rogers, gone to reside upon the coast of Africa, so that this last was an error of my Clerk in transcribing my letter, for which I ask pardon etc. Quotes from letter of 20th Dec. and 11th March concerning new Councillors. Continues : So that the number of H.M. Council at present upon the island are but seven, namely John Howell, William Spatchers, William Stewart, Thomas Lorey, William Hale, John Thompson and William Smith, whom I have sworn in, in the room of Thomas Spencer lately deceased, and the others mentioned in my Instructions were gone off the Island or dead before my arrival except William Miller, whom I daily expect. The next omission your Lordships are pleas'd to charge me with, is that of not sending your Lordships a duplicate of the report signed by me and intended to be signed by the Engineer, to his Majesty, which I hope you'l the readier overlook since it was owing to my not having any perfect duplicates of the drawings to transmit you, without which every thing else I could send would have been imperfect, and that I knew, according to the common course of business, those sent to my Lord President would be referr'd to your Lordships ; and in respect to the observation your Lordships are pleased to make, that my letters ought constantly to mention the date of my preceeding, and that I ought to mention what ships they go by etc., I find but one omission of the former, which I shall take care for the future to avoid, and the latter is impossible to be complyed with, because we have seldom or never any direct conveyance from hence home, and are therefore obliged to send them first to Carolina or other Colonies, as opportunity serves, for a passage ; whereby they frequently miscarry, or, at best, are a very long time before they come to hand : and now upon occasion of mentioning this inconvenience, I beg leave to offer it to your Lordships, whether the surest method of transmitting your Lordships' commands to me for the future would not be under cover to the Governor or Commander-in-Chief of South Carolina for the time being. As to what your Lordships are pleased to mention concerning the estimates of the works proposed to be erected here, now before you, I am to observe that tho' H.M. should not purchase these islands (which, I hope, for the publick good of Great Britain and the poor inhabitants of the place, will not be the case) yet, since the Proprietors have surrendered the right of Government, it will be absolutely necessary to make this a place of defence for the reasons your Lordships have set forth etc., and tho' the works proposed by the late Engineer should amount to more than you think necessary H.M. should expend upon that service etc., yet I hope your Lordships will conclude that something ought to be done in this affair speedily, in which case I humbly presume the Master General of the Ordnance will, from the plans, profiles and elevations before you, best judge how that may be properly done ; before I conclude this subject, I think it necessary to acquaint your Lordships that the few gun-carriages that were any way serviceable, when I had the honour to make the afore-mentioned report to H.M. are now become so far useless, as scarcely to bear the firing of guns upon any public occasion, and that tho' I have with great difficulty and a large expence made H.M. Independent Company here at least as good as any in America, yet they have not forty muskets among them, and above twenty of these unfit for any land of service, whereof I several times acquainted the late Secretary at War, and my Agent writes me word that he has attended the present on the same head, but hath not as yet had any answer from him. I also preferred a memorial to the said late Secretary, wherein I set forth the miserable and starving condition the poor soldiers are in here, by reason of the smalness of their pay, which can hardly support human nature in a country, where all manner of provisions are so scarce and dear, as upon this island, and likewise how many of them perish, in time of sickness, for want of proper medecines, which are not to be had here, nor any allowance given me upon the Establishment for that purpose, as is allowed to other Independent Companies abroad (particularly that at South Carolina) and therefore I humbly proposed that H.M. would be graciously pleased to put this Company upon the same foot, in respect to provisions, with the troops at Gibraltar or Nova Scotia, and of medicines, in proportion of what is allowed to the Company in Carolina, which he the Secretary thought so very reasonable, that he not only told me himself, that he would take a proper occasion to get it speedily done, but also directed his chief Clerk, since my arrival here, to acquaint me, that he had communicated my proposal to Sr. Robert Walpole, who thoroughly approved thereof, notwithstanding which there hath not any thing been yet done in this affair, which I apprehend has been occasioned by the Secretary's long indisposition, but I am in hopes Sir William Younge, to whom my Agent tells me he has renewed my application, will commiserate these poor people's condition, and I flatter myself your Lordships will, out of pure humanity, remind him of it, and that you will also be so good as to talk to him concerning the usual allowance for fire to dress their victuals, and candles, which other little garrisons have, and which was mentioned in the aforesaid report to H.M. 'Tis a pleasure to me whenever your Lordships approve my action, as you have been pleased to do in regard to the bonds I took from the inhabitants to be answerable for the tenths of what salt they should make, which I would at the same time have also done for the tenths of braziletto, but to speak the truth, I was then apprehensive of an insurrection in the country, to which the inhabitants were privately spirited up by the insinuations and artifice of one John Colebrooke, and to which, people of their former course of life being naturally prone, he had no great difficulty of leading them, and more especially for that their minds had been so long disturb'd by the divisions and dissentions he had created in the Government by his turbulency and unaccountable misbehaviour towards my predecessor, whereby all regular form of Government was destroyed, and it has not been without infinite difficulty and vexation, and great clamours against me, by this man's contrivance, that since he left the country, I have at last brought these people to be as peaceable, and to have as much unanimity among themselves, as any in the King's Dominions, and if a man can judge by the outward appearance of people, so good liking to my administration as I could wish, or indeed, better that I could reasonably expect, considering the methods that have been used by that Colebrooke and his adherents to prevent them : and I am therefore persuaded that if your Lordships would be so good as to forward the erecting the works, and promote the sending over here a hundred Palatine familys, with such encouragement as they meet at South Carolina, which is to pay their passage, give them a small portion of land free of quit-rents for a few years, and allow them a little salt provision to support them the first year, you would shortly find this country in a flourishing condition, and more worthy your notice than perhaps it may be at present. For those men would be found, at all times a good security to the island, gatherers of salt to supply the Fisherys of our Northern Colonys in time of war, when that commodity is difficult to be had from other places, and good cultivators of sugar-canes, cotton, indigo, vines and other things, which these islands are capable of producing etc. Continues : At the Assembly held here, since the taking of those bonds, a law hass pass'd whereby a penny a bushel was laid upon all salt exported, and other dutys in the same Act for levying divers sums for payment of officers' salaries etc., which will come to double the sum those tenths would amount to, and tho' it is not expressed in the Act that it is in lieu of tenths, yet I cannot help saying the poor people meant it so, and in truth, in order to get this law pass'd the easier I gave them reason to hope I would interpose any good offices in my power to engage your Lordships' sentiments in their favour, as to this particular, therefore I must beg leave to forbear taking any further steps in this matter untill I have your Lordships' further directions. I have received the copys of those laws that were pass'd by Mr. Rogers, with his remarks thereon, but the last mentioned duty law, the Act for governing negroes and slaves, and other Acts, which I have pass'd, and now lye before your Lordships for your perusal, happen (tho' I had not any of the former laws or transactions of the Government to direct me) to provide for most of the material deficiencies in those assented to by my predecessor, so as not to make it necessary for us to be at the expence of calling an Assembly, untill there is something more material to lay before them : particularly since the inhabitants have (now they know your Lordships' opinion concerning their being in force) no objection to their being governed by them. Encloses duplicates of Aug. 20th etc. Signed, Rd. Fitzwilliam. Endorsed, Recd. 12th April, Read 25th June, 1736. 7pp. Enclosed,
221. i. Duplicate of Gov. Fitzwilliam to Council of Trade. Aug. 20th.
221. ii. Deposition of Samuel Lawford, late master, and John Grimes and W. Young, mariners, of the sloop Mercury of New Providence. 18th Aug., 1735. Said sloop was loaded at Jamaica with provisions consigned to Isaac Maduras of Curaçao, whither said sloop was bound, after being regularly cleared on 17th June. She was blown out of her course (described) to about 4 leagues off the mainland of America at a part called the Bush. Here she was boarded by an armed Spanish sloop of Maracaybo, commanded by Don Pedro de Costa, who carried her with the mate and one sailor off to Maracaybo, leaving deponent, four of his crew and two passengers on shore at the Salinas, a spot uninhabited except by savages, whence after great hardships they made their way to New Providence etc. Protests, etc. Signed, Samuel Lawford, John Grimes, William Young (his mark). Sworn before Governor Fitzwilliam. Endorsed as preceding. Copy. 2 ¾ pp.
221. iii. Deposition of Samuel Lawford. 20th Dec, 1735. About a month after the date of above deposition and protest, deponent sailed with a letter from Governor Fitzwilliam and the Governor of Curacao to the Governor of Maracaybo etc. The Governor just opened the said protest and in a very great passion threw it from him and told him not to stay there trifling his time away, adding that being ignorant of the law he had sent the Mercury to be tried at St. Domingo, with a representation that a quantity of Spanish money had been found on board of her. Deponent expostulated, reminding the Governor of the depositions made before him by the mate and one of the seamen that there was not one single piece of eight aboard the Mercury when she was taken, and prayed for copies of said depositions which he absolutely refused to grant, alledging that he had sent them to St. Domingo. He forthwith answered the Governors' letters and ordered him to depart. Deponent, in spite of his protests, and altho' he had brought nothing into Maracaybo but the Governors' letters aforesaid and the little provisions for his own use, was compelled to pay 120 pieces of eight for port duties, to raise which he was obliged to sell his clothes and part of his necessary provisions. Some of the inhabitants of the best credit in the place, and particularly two gentlemen resident there to whom the Governor of Curaçao had recommended him, told him there was no hopes of his ever regaining his vessel, for that the Governor there was chiefly concerned in the privateer that took him and that notwithstanding his pretence of having sent her to St. Domingo for trial, she was then actually fitted and gon out a-privateering with 10 great guns and 8 pateraras and about 60 men, etc. A Dutch vessel was attacked by the Mercury, but got away and came into Curaçao whilst deponent was there. Deponent's substance is so wasted that he cannot pursue reparation at St. Domingo etc. Signed, Saml. Lawford. Copy. 2 ½ pp.
221. iv. Governor Fitzwilliam to the Governor of Maracaybo. Sept. 17th, 1735. New Providence. Demands return to Capt. Lawford of the Mercury and goods taken by Pedro de Costa under pretence of a commission from the Governor of Maracaybo and that justice be done on said pirates etc. Signed, Rd. Fitzwilliam. Endorsed, Recd. 12th April, Read 25th June, 1736. Copy. 1 p.
221. v. Governor of Maracaybo to Governor Fitzwilliam. Nov. 28 (n.s.), 1735. Has sent the Mercury to be tried at St. Domingo where justice will be done etc. Signed, Dn. Ju. Joseph de Valderrana y Haro. Endorsed as preceding. Copy. Spanish. 1 p.
221. vi. Governor Fitzwilliam to the Duke of Newcastle. Aug. 20, 1735. Encloses deposition of Capt. Lawford etc. as in Covering letter supra. Signed and endorsed as No. iii. Copy. 1 p.
221. vii. Same to Same. Dec. 22, 1735. Encloses papers relating to Lawford's case. v. following. Signed and endorsed as preceding. Copy. 2 pp.
221. viii. Account of laws in force in the Bahama Islands, 25th March, 1731, by which any duties are laid on the trade and snipping of Great Britain, and of duties now payable by said Acts on the importation or exportation of negroes, liquors or any goods or shipping, (i) An Act for levying divers sums for defraying the public charges etc., 1729. (ii) For levying divers sums for payment of officers' salaries etc., 1734. Details of duties given. The former Act is suspended by the latter. Signed, Rd. Fitzwilliam. Endorsed, Recd. 12th April, Read 25th June, 1736. 1 large p. [C.O. 23, 3. ff. 138, 138 v., 139 v.–141, 142–144, 145, 146 v., 147 v., 148, 149 v.–154 v., 155 v.–156 v.]
Dec. 22.
New
Providence.
222. Governor Fitzwilliam to the Duke of Newcastle. Encloses papers relating to Capt. Lawford. v. preceding. Continues: I cannot help adding that the Governor of Maracaybo's behaviour and that of the Royal officers was not only most inhumane and cruel, but also insolent and, with great submission, a great contempt of H.M. commission to me etc., by detaining the vessel I sent with letters, of publick business only, until port charges were paid for her, which the misfortunes of the miserable man they robb'd, could not prevail upon their cruel natures to remit etc. Continues : Were I capable of pathetically describing the distress this poor man (whom I prevented going home to tieze you) has undergone and the beggary he is reduc'd to, it would (exclusive of all other considerations) so far prevail upon your humanity and good nature, as to think of some means of gaining him and his distress'd family speedy relief. Many of the inhabitants have been with me upon this occasion to desire, that if I could not grant letters of reprizal, I would connive only at their doing themselves justice upon the Spaniards, yet, however equitable I might think their request, I absolutely forbid them attempting to redress themselves, untill they have H.M. permission so to do. Signed, Rd. Fitzwilliam. [C.O. 23, 3. f. 154.]
Dec. 24.
St. Christophers.
223. Governor Mathew to Mr. Popple. Begins with duplicate of Dec. 8. Continues :—I enclose to be laid before their Lordships two Acts of Nevis, (i) for raiseing an impost on strong liquors imported etc. ; and (ii) an Act to repeal an Act against importing rum and melass also for raising an annual tax on vintners and retailers etc. Continues :—The first I passed on their Lordships' allowance, as the duties are only laid on strong liquors of foreign growth. The second law has the suspending clause, as directed by the Instruction for laws that repeat any other laws, etc. Continues :—I pray as to our factors' objections that have obtaind a restraint from our laying any dutys on liquors or manufactures of Great Britain, to offer to their Lordships that in my humble opinion, and that opinion grounded on a many years' knowledge of the trade hither, that such laws when permitted to be made, gave no room for any such complaint. The importer never paid one p. cent. on such goods imported, that he was not well enough prepared for to raise three, five or more on ym. under pretence of this petty duty, and this in his sales to the consumer. And to be sure these opponents never meant the consumer (that is the planter) should pay dutys on their imports. That would be a downright excise, if such laws transferred the duty from the importer to the retailer. Signed, William Mathew. Endorsed, Recd. 9th March, Read 30th Sept., 1736. 2 ½ pp. [C.O. 152, 22. ff. 81–82 v., and (duplicate) 87–88 v.]
Dec. 25.224. Petty Expenses of the Board of Trade, Michaelmas to Christmas, 1735. v. Journal. 1 pp. [C.O. 388, 80. ff. 147, 148, 149–150 v., 152.]
Dec. 25.225. Naval Officer's List of Entries and Clearings, S. Potomack, Virginia, Sept. 25—Dec. 25. [C.O. 5, 1445. f. 1.]
Dec. 27.
Jamaica.
226. Governor Cunninghame to the Duke of Newcastle. I have the honour to acquaint your Grace of my safe arrival here on the 18th instant, and of my being received with the forms and ceremonys usual on the like occasions. After publishing H.M. Commission, and takeing and administering to the gentlemen of the Council the oaths prescrib'd by H.M. Instructions and the Acts of the Island ; I declar'd my self to them, as by the paper herewith inclosed, in which, is a copy of their answer, with my reply. By the death of Samuel Moore, Esqr., almost three years since, the death of William Hay man, Esqr., some time in June last, the death of John Ayscough, Esqr., the 29th of Septemr. last, and the resignation of Edward Pennant, Esqr., on account of his age and infirmitys on the first of last October, the Council is reduced to eight, and some of them liveing at a great distance from the seat of Government, will make it very difficult for me to have a quorum, so soon, and so often, as H.M. service may require. I have inform'd my self the best I could for the short time I have been here of the persons of the most influence and best qualifications for that trust, and have had recommended to me as such, William Nedham, Gersham Ely, Charles Price and Mathew Concanen, Esqrs., the three first as Chief Magistrates and Assemblymen, and Mr. Concanen as Attorney General, have long served the country, and I beg leave to recommend them through your Grace's favour and countenance to H.M., that they may be appointed to these vacancys, and that as soon as may be, for the reasons above mention'd. It will not be possible for me to send your Grace the exact state and condition of H.M. troops here by this conveyance, as they are disposed of in distant and different parts of the Island, but by the next I hope I shall be able to do't, being resolved forthwith to view them my self in their several quarters. All I can learn and acquaint your Grace with at this time is, that the Companys are reduced, some to half, and others to about a third of their compliment. Several of the officers are dead, as your Grace will see by the inclosed list. Their vacancys have been supplyd by warrants from the Presidents to the gentlemen mention'd therein, and if I am justly inform'd, as I have no reason to doubt but I am, their behaviour has been such as recommends them to H.M. favour, and I beg leave to recommend them to your Grace, that being commissioned by H.M., others may be encouraged on the like occasions to accept of warrants, that H.M. service may not suffer for want of a sufficient number of officers ; for I must observe of your Grace, that by the death of the officers of the Company late under the command of Capt. John Campbel, that Company was without any commissioned officer here, for near five months, but what were order'd from other companys to take the command thereof. The next day after my arrival here, I desir'd the oppinion and advice of the Council, whether they apprehended it would be most for the service of the country to continue or dissolve the Assembly, they were unanimous in their oppinion, that in regard the Assembly had sat almost three years, and that there were several vacant seats by the death of their members, they should be dissolv'd ; which was accordingly done by proclamation on the 22nd instant, and I have in pursuance of the same advice, order'd writts to issue for calling a new one, to convene on the 24th February next. From all the accounts I have hear'd, I cannot learn that in all the attempts that have been made against the rebel slaves for these two years past, above ten of them have been taken or destroy'd ; and I find all the gentlemen of credit that I have spoke to here agree, that most of the rebel slaves that were settled in the Windward or north-east parts of the Island, are moved to the Leeward, that upon intelligence of their march, some partys were order'd out, to oppose, disperse, or destroy them, and accordingly mett with some bodys of them, but they fought and forced their way on, and tho' they have been quiet for some time, it is supposed and fear'd, they are settleing themselves in some strong fastnesses, and, when that is done, will begin their ravages again, in such parts of the Island, as may be of more mischievous consequence than any they have hitherto attempted. Here has been no considerable country partys fitted out or kept on foot at the publick expence since martial law ceas'd, which was on the first of August last, nor do I think from the judgement I can form at present, that it will ever be to much purpose to fitt out partys or send out any strength against them till some barracks be erected in the most convenient parts of the Inland, and roads of communication open'd, that upon any certain advice of their haunts and settlements, a sufficient force may be always ready to be detach'd from the said barracks without delay, well commanded and supplyed with necessarys. A detachment of a serjeant, corporal and eighteen private men from each of the Companys commanded by Sir Alexander Gumming and Capt. Henry Robinson, has for some time been in possession of one of the old negro settlements near Port Antonio, call'd Nanny Town, but without any surgeon or mate to take care of them, there being but one surgeon and a mate to every two Companys, and the remaining part of those two Companys were so sickly, that neither the surgeon or mate could be spared to march with the detachment, I shall endeavour to supply that want, and do what I can that the troops may be easie and well taken care of, but must beg leave to acquaint your Grace that as H.M. service will require the troops to be employ'd in the different parts of the Island, they may labour under great distress and difficultys for want of more surgeons or surgeon's mates, especially should these already appointed, sicken or die. I thought it my duty to inform your Grace of these particulars as they immediately concern H.M. service, and shall not fail from time to time to advise your Grace of everything that may be of consequence to that, and of service to this Island, being perswaded it will be the best means to recommend myself to H.M. favour, and your Grace's Countenance etc. Signed, H. Cunninghame. Endorsed, R. 6th April. Enclosed,
226. i. Muster-roll of Officers of the 8 Independent Companies, 25th Dec., 1735. 1 p.
226. ii (a) Governor Cunningham's Speech to the Council, Dec. 19, 1735. Abstract. Relies upon their advice etc. His coming to Jamaica was delayed by his representations to H.M. on their behalf and endeavours to obtain aid in their distress. His Instructions, which he will soon, and from time to time, communicate to them, will show them that he is charged with no commands but what are for the public good. Assures them of freedom of debate and his assistance in any schemes they may propose for the advancing H.M. honour and the true interests of their country. (b) Address of Council to Governor Cunningham, in reply to preceding, 20th Dec. Abstract. Have abundant reasons to acknowledge H.M. care of the Island, and welcome H.E.'s arrival etc. Hope by their unanimity not to disappoint his expectations etc. (c) Governor Cunningham's reply, thanking them for their "obligeing address." Copy. 2 ¼ pp. [C.O. 137, 55, ff. 213–215 v., 216 v., 217, 219–220.]
Dec. 30.227. Mr. Fane to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Report upon Act of Pennsylvania, 1735, for the more effectual vesting lands in George McCall etc. "which I apprehend is intended to supply the want of a recovery, for the King's writts issued here not running in this Province, a recovery cannot be carried into execution : and it is the only method they have of barring entails. I observe, the person who applied to the legislature for this Act, has such an estate vested in him, as to give him a right by our law, supposing the lands here, to barr all the remainders, and that all parties interested have consented thereto. And therefore I am humbly of opinion, it is very fit to be passed into a law. Signed, Fran. Fane. Endorsed, Recd. 30th Dec, 1735, Read 15th Jan., 1735/6. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1268. ff. 181, 182 v.]
Dec. 31.228. Mr. Fane to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Has no objection to Act of Barbados, empowering the Treasurer to pay a certain sum to the Lady Howe etc. Signed, Fran. Fane. Endorsed, Recd. 1st, Read 15th Jan., 1735/6. ¾ p. [C.O. 28, 24. ff. 146, 151 v.]