America and West Indies
April 1736

Sponsor

Institute of Historical Research

Publication

Year published

1953

Pages

181-195

Annotate

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

Citation Show another format:

'America and West Indies: April 1736', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 42: 1735-1736 (1953), pp. 181-195. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=72843 Date accessed: 30 August 2014.


Highlight

(Min 3 characters)

Contents

April 1736

[April 6.]282. Proposals for the beginning of a Civil Government in Nova Scotia. (v: April 14th). 1. That a certain number of gentlemen, merchants and others be incorporated Trustees for promoting the said settlement. 2. That the Trustees or President or Deputy Governor of the Province, who shall be approved by H.M., and give £2,000 security for his due observance of the Acts of Trade and Navigation, and of all such Instructions as shall from time to time be given or sent to him from H.M. 3. That the President or Govr. have power to name 12 substantial persons resident in ye Province, to be his standing Council, and vacancies happening therein shall be supply'd as H.M. shall think fit. 4. That the Govr. with the advice of his Council, shall have power to grant land to all settlers, in such manner and under such rents, services and reservations, as shall be appointed by ye Charter to the Trustees, or H.M. Instructions to the President or Govr. N.B.—It's intended yt. 200,000 acres of woodland be reserved for a perpetual supply for the Navy, and that whatever quantities of land shall be granted to private persons, townships etc. a like quantity be left in the neighbourhood to H.M. future disposal, on which land none shall be allowed to cut wood but by H.M. licence. 5. The President or Govr. with the advice of his Council, may appoint Courts of Adjudicature for hearing and trying all sorts of causes as well criminal as civil; provided the Chief Judges, Justices or Presidents of such Courts, as also the Attorneys and Solrs. General be appointed by H.M. 6. That so soon as there shall be a competent number of Freemen, planters and inhabitants settled in the Province, an Assembly shall be established, with whose advice and assistance the President or Govr. and the Council shall establish and enact such ordinances, Acts and laws as shall be thought necessary for the good governmt. and prosperity of the settlement. Provided that all such acts and ordinances be forthwith transmitted to the Board of Trade, in order to be laid before H.M. for his approbation or disallowance. 7. Provided also that the Receiver and Auditor General of the Revenues, the Surveyor Genl. and Secretary of the Province shall always be appointed by H.M., and that no land be granted without the advice and consent of 2 of those officers, and that all land so granted be entred and recorded in their respective offices. Provided also, that at the end of 15 years all ye right, claim, power etc. of the Trustees shall entirely cease; and whatever accounts, books or effects shall remain in the possession of the said Trustees at the end of the sd. 15 years, shall be delivered up by the said Trustees to such person or persons as H.M. shall appoint, for the use of the Province, and that then the Governmt. of ye Province shall return entirely into H.M. hands, to be exercised as in New York or any other Plantation immediately under H.M. protection. Endorsed, Recd., Read 6th April, 1736. 3½ pp. [C.O. 217, 7. ff. 158–159 v.]
April 7.
Maryland.
283. Deputy Governor Ogle to the Council of Trade and Plantations. In reply to command of June 17, 1735, encloses list of Acts laying any duties on British trade or shipping, or on importation or exportation of negroes, armes or any other merchandize etc. Signed, Sam. Ogle. Endorsed, Recd. 19th Aug., Read 20th Oct., 1736. 1 p. Enclosed,
283. i. List of Acts of Maryland, 1661–1732, referred to in preceding. 1½ pp. [C.O. 5, 1268. ff. 211, 212, 212v, 213 v.]
April 8.
Ambor,
New Jersey.
284. Col. John Hamilton, President of the Council, New Jersey, to the Duke of Newcastle. I am humbly to inform your Grace that on the 28th of March last John Anderson, Esq., etc. departed this life, upon whose death I took the administration of the Goverment of this Province upon me as eldest Councellor, which office I shall endeavor to discharge with the utmost fidelity to His Majesty and benefit of his subjects etc. There are now but five Councellors resideing in this Province, and one of them (Mr. Wells) so very old and infirm that he has not for some years past been capable of attending his duty in Councill, so that if there should be a necessity for my calling an Assembly (which I shall not offerr to doe without some pressing occasion) there will not be a sufficient number of Councellors to make a Quorum etc. His late Excellency to make up the number of seven that could attend admitted William Provoost and Thomas Farman, Esqrs., and recommended John Seyler, John Rodman and Richard Smith, Esqrs., who are all gentlemen of worth and fortune etc. Signed, John Hamilton. Endorsed, R. June. Holograph. 3 pp. [C.O. 5, 983. ff. 58–59 v.]
April 9.
Antigua.
285. Governor Mathew to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I pray leave to recommend again to your Lordships the Act passd by the Council and Assembly of Montserat for raising a duty of four pence a ton upon all shipping to be paid in money in order to purchase arms for the use of the Island. For that although H.M. was graciously pleas'd to order stores of all sorts to be sent to these Islands, yet none of the most necessary articles, as powder, small arms etc. were sent. For which I pray leave to referr your Lordships to the Agents for this Island, Nevis and St. Christophers for the reasons why. The news of peace has quite restor'd the people of Nevis to their usual indolence. The fortifying Sadie Hill, which was carryd on most vigorously for six months, is now all over. I hope what I wrote to your Lordships the 14th November last will plead effectually with you, to obtain a favourable construction on my forwardness in establishing legislatures in Anguilla, Spanish Town, and Tortola. I heartily wish H.M. service would allow to those Islands priviledges of making their own laws etc. Signed, William Mathew. Endorsed, Recd. 10th June, Read 30th Sept., 1736. 2 pp. [C.O. 152, 22. ff. 108, 109, 109 v.]
April 9.
Antigua.
286. Governor Mathew to Mr. Popple. Encloses Journal of Assembly of Montserrat, and Minutes of Council of Montserrat and Nevis to 25th March, 1736, and following. Signed, William Mathew. Endorsed, Recd. 10th June, Read 30th Sept., 1736. Holograph. 1 p. Enclosed,
286. i. Treasurer's account, Nevis, to Feb. 20, 1736. Totals, Receipts (including balance from April, 1735, £368 1s. 7d.), £2,061 10s. 8¼d. Expenditure, £1,749 13s. 10¼d. Signed and sworn to, by, Edwd. Bridgwater, Treasr.; John Brodbelt. Endorsed, Recd. 10th June, 1736.
286. ii. Treasurer's account, Montserrat, to Feb. 1736. Totals. Receipts (including £146 10s. 6½d. brought forward), £3,620 8s. 8½d. Expenditure, £3,492 10s. Signed, Jno. Rognon. Passed in Council, Feb. 21, 1736. True copy certified by, John Warner, Clk. Cone. Endorsed as preceding. 3 pp.
286. iii. Abstract of births (32), marriages (8) and burials (27) in the parish of St. Thomas, Middle Island, St. Christophers, 30th Oct., 1734–1735. Signed, John Merac, Rector. Endorsed as preceding. ½ p.
286. iv. Abstract of births (25), marriages (7), and burials (8) in the parish of Trinity, Palmeto Point, 30th Oct., 1734–1735. Signed and endorsed as preceding. ½ p. [C.O. 152, 22. ff. 111, 112v.–116 v.,117 v. –118v.]
April 10.
Antigua.
287. Governor Mathew to Mr. Popple. Enclose Act of Nevis for raising a poll tax on negroes etc just received. " 'Tis a money bill in the usual form, and therefore no remark remains for me to make on it." Signed, William Mathew. Endorsed, Recd. 10th June, Read 1st Oct., 1736. Holograph. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 22. ff. 119, 126 v.]
April 14.
Prescot street
in Goodman's
Fields.
288. Capt. Coram to Mr. Popple. Returns with comments the proposals given to him by the Board (v. April 6th), and desires to wait on the Board before report is made thereon etc. Signed, Thomas Coram. Endorsed, Recd. 15th April, Read 4th May, 1736. Holograph. 1 p. Enclosed,
288. i. Proposals as above, with Capt. Coram's observations thereon. 3 1/3 pp. [C.O. 217, 5. ff. 160, 161–162 v., 163 v.]
April 17.
Barbados.
289. President Dottin to the Duke of Newcastle. I flatter'd myself with the hopes of being honour'd with your Grace's commands in answer to two letters which I thought it my duty to trouble you with, as I conceived the matters I mentioned therein were for H.M. service, and I hope my letters came safely to your Grace's hands. I had indeed the pleasure of obeying H.M. commands in swearing my nephew Abel Dottin, Esqr., one of the Council here in the room of the late Colo. Terrill, which I beg leave to make my humble acknowledgment for your Grace's favour in procuring that honour done him on my recommendation, and as it is impossible Mr. Ashley can longer attend his duty as a Councillor on account of what he owes, which will oblige him to stay at home and not stir out, I humbly take leave to repeat my recommendation of Colonel John Maycock as a person fitly qualifyed according to H.M. Instructions to supply his seat. I should without doubt have complyed with H.M. pleasure in transmitting to your Grace long before now the best account I cou'd of what fees were taken by the several officers here at the time of her late Majesty Queen Anne's accession, but as I presumed to mention how difficult it was to have that truly ascertain'd and that besides it wou'd not, I imagin'd, answer H.M. intentions in having those fees reduced within the bounds of moderation, as they were greatly enhanc'd long before then, but from the inhabitants not being in such bad circumstances, they were not so severely felt, that enquiry was not compleated, from my expectations of receiving your Grace's pleasure that the fees might be justly and fairly settled without being confin'd to a particular period of time, but since I have fail'd in my hopes, I shall now give directions to have that enquiry finish'd as soon as possible, that the same may be convey'd immediately afterwards to your Grace, who will herewith receive a copy of the letter which the General of Martinico thought fit to write me in answer to mine formerly transmitted, with a copy of my reply thereto, since which nothing more has been done, H.M. Council here being of opinion it was proper for me first to have further directions before any other step was taken, and as soon as your Grace thinks fit to signify your commands with respect to this and the settlement for the West Indies they shall be punctually perform'd on my part. Your Grace will likewise receive under the Seal of the Island copys of several Acts pass'd here, the title and preamble of each of them so fully declares the reasons for their being enacted that I shall without taking up any of your precious time with observing on them, chuse to submit them to your Grace's consideration, etc. Signed, James Dottin. l½ pp. Enclosed,
289. i. List of Acts sent with preceding, (i) An Act for the encouragement of Majr. Thos. Spencer, Esqr., for a new project or method he has invented in the place and stead of lead on coppers, being less expensive, more dureable and convenient then what hath heretofore been used: (ii) Impowering the Vestry of the parish of St. Joseph to choose a churchwarden for the said parish to continue in the said office til the five and twentyeth day of March next: (iii) to provide for the expences of His Honour the President's table during his residence at Pilgrims House for the benefit of the publick : (iv) impowering the vestry of the parish of St. Lucy to choose a churchwarden for the said parish to continue in the said office till the twenty-fifth day of March next, and also to enable the vestrys of the several parishes in this Island to make choice of a churchwarden in case of the death or going off this Island of any churchwarden before the year for which he is elected expires: (v) Concerning the surveying of land in this Island: (vi) Appointing Agents for this Island in Great Britain: (vii) for the encouragement of Thomas Spencer, Esqr., in a new project or method he has invented, for the more easy and expeditious straining of liquors for making sugar and rum: (viii) declaring part of the Newtown house in the town of St. Michael to be the common gaol of this island, and impowering the Provost Marshall to make use of it as such. 1 p.
289. ii. Governor General of Martinique to President Dottin. Martinique, Dec. 20 (n.s.), 1735. Abstract. As encl. i. in succeeding item.
289. iii. President Dottin to the Marquis de Champigny. Jan. 28, 1735/6. Reply to preceding. As in encl. ii in succeeding item. [C.O. 28, 45. ff. 359–359 v., 361, 365, 365 v., 367–368.]
April 17.
Barbados.
290. President Dottin to the Council of Trade and Plantations. As I hope the letters I have done myself the honour of writing to but being deprived of that satisfaction, I take this occasion of returning your Lordships my sincere thanks for the favours you have been pleased to shew to my recommendation in behalf of my nephew Abel Dottin, Esqr., who thereby is now sworn one of H.M. Council here in the room of the late Coll. Terrill, and if your Lordships will be pleased to recommend Coll. John Maycock in the room of John Ashley, Esqr., whose affairs will not permit him any longer to attend his duty in that station, I shall deem it a singular honour done me, and he is fitly qualify'd according to H.M. Instructions to be of his Council. I hereby transmit your Lordships a copy of the General of Martineco's answer to my letter inclos'd in the last packet by Nesbit with my reply thereto. I laid all these papers before the Council here, who thought nothing more was to be done without further orders which when I receive I shall duly comply with. I have likewise enclos'd copys of several Acts to which I have given my assent and as the title and Preamble of each fully sets forth, the reasons for making them it wou'd be mispending your Lordships' time for me to observe thereon, and therefore I humbly submit them to your Lordships' consideration whether they are proper for H.M. approbation or disallowance. Signed, James Dottin. Endorsed, Recd. 23rd July, Read 24th Sept., 1736. 1 p. Enclosed,
290. i. M. le Marquis de Champigny, Governor General of the French West Indian Islands to President Dottin. Fort Royal, Martinique. 20th Dec. (n.s.), 1735. Abstract. Is surprised to learn from his letter of the 4th delivered by Capt. Raddish, that he thinks that the proclamations for the evacuation of Sta. Lucia published by Lord Howe and himself, Aug. 1733, have not been obeyed, but that the French are there in greater numbers than before. He would not permit such disobedience to his King's orders in an island under his very eyes. But being anxious not to omit anything which might contribute to maintaining the good understanding with his neighbours, he has sent some French officers with Capt. Raddish to verify the facts alleged in the depositions, and in case of any infringements, to renew the proclamation forbidding French subjects to remain at Sta. Lucia on pain of being punished as rebels. Expects the President likewise both to forbid British subjects to remain there, and all British ships to trade there, as they do with impunity every day, as is proved by the frequent captures made by the French customs ships. Awaits with impatience the arrival of Governor Lord Howe, intending to propose acting in concert with him in order to put a stop to such trade, which is equally prejudicial to both countries. Concludes: Nothing, Sir, ought to prove to you more plainly the great advantage your Nation derives from this pernicious commerce, than the number of ships and other English vessels which are continually at Sta. Lucia, or on our coast, to trade there, in spite of all the precautions I can take to prevent them; in which I flatter myself I shall be able to succeed when the king's ships arrive which I expect daily. Signed, Champigny. Endorsed, Recd. 23rd July, 1736. French. 2 pp.
290. ii. President Dottin to the Marquis de Champigny. Barbados. Pilgrim. Jan. 28, 1735/6. Abstract. Explains that, though the style of his letters seems to indicate that he regards a President of Barbados as little better than a private person, he is in fact, Commander-in-Chief to all intents and purposes, and it is not therefore necessary to await Lord Howe's arrival, before concerting the measures he mentions etc. Objects to the distrust he displays of the deposition for which he had vouched. However, as M. le Marquis sent officers to Sta. Lucia for information, and as Capt. Reddish informs him that many French families were remaining on that island, he hopes to hear of the entire evacuation of that place etc. As to ships trading to Martinique or Sta. Lucia, contrary to the treaties and orders of the two Crowns, nothing could give him greater pleasure than to hear that they are made prizes of, upon due proof of such indirect trading. Thinks such indirect trade to be vastly pernicious to the English nation in general, and in the end proves the ruin of those concerned in it, of which they have had many instances. Nor are the sufferers when lawfully seized worthy of the least compassion. But he is convinced by a number of depositions of persons of undoubted reputation that many of the prizes made by the French guard sloops are owing not so much to the score of an illegal trade as to the arbitrary and unjustifiable methods those guard sloops take in chasing vessells not bound to any of those islands, and having no intentions to trade there at all, who yet are carried into Martinique and there prosecuted. Continues:—With regard to the capture of a sloop belonging to one Major Fairchild, upon reading certain depositions relating thereto before your Excellency in Council, whereunto my testimonial was annex'd, in which the stile and title conferr'd on me by his Majesty, was incerted, after that was read, the same was look'd upon with so much derision and contempt, as I could not have thought Gentlemen of so polite a nation capable of etc. Would concur in any measures for stopping the many English vessels that do trade at Sta. Lucia and Martinique. But thinks the French must reap the greater advantage from it, as otherwise it would be no difficult matter for them to stop it, without awaiting a powerful armament from France etc. Signed, James Dottin. Endorsed, Recd. 23rd July, 1736. Copy. 2¼ large pp.
290. iii. List of eight Acts, 1735, 1736, enclosed. Same endorsement. ¾ p. [C.O. 28, 24. ff. 171, 172–174 v., 175 v., 176 v., 177, 180 v.]
April 17.
St. James's.
291. Petition of Wavell Smith, Secretary of the Leeward I., to the Duke of Newcastle. Abstract. By the annexed Order, Governor Mathew has commanded Memorialist's Deputy at Antigua to conform instantly to an old docket of fees made in 1703, or to be prosecuted etc. By this illegal order made upon application from the Assembly, memorialist's Deputy is obliged to take whatever fees are given him, and keep an account of the differences between the accustomed fees and those of 1703. The business in the Secretary's Office at Antigua is much varied from what it was in 1703, and the fees in the old docket cannot comprehend the business now in use. Quotes terms of letters patent granting offices to him and Savile Cust for life etc. Petitions for H.M. command to the Governor for repeal of said order, and protection of memorialist in the possession of the accustomed fees as they were paid to three predecessors etc. 1 1/3 pp. Enclosed,
291. i. Order by Governor Mathew, 9th Feb., 1735/6, referred to in preceding. Copy.1½ pp.
291. ii. Minute of Council of Antigua, 2nd Feb., 1735/6. Lt. Gover. Byam refused to comply with Assembly's message referred to in preceding, but sent to Governor Mathew for directions upon the matter. Copy. ½ p. [C.O. 152, 40. ff. 266, 266 v., 269, 269 v.]
April 20.
Whitehall.
292. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Ralph Izard, a member of Council in S. Carolina, having refused to act in that capacity, and Francis Yonge having resolved not to return and desired to resign his office of Councillor, propose John Colleton and John Brathwaite in their room. [C.O. 5, 401. pp. 171, 172.]
April 20.
Whitehall.
293. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Duke of Newcastle. Refer to letter of Sept. 11th last etc. and enclosures received since. Continue :—Your Grace will perceive by the report of the Committee of Barbados, that the French have not only artfully evaded the intended evacuation of those islands [Sta. Lucia, St: Vincent and Dominico], but that they have since continually been encreasing, and are now settled in much greater numbers than ever they had there before etc. As this behaviour of the French is of the greatest consequence to our Sugar Colonies, and to the trade thereof, we desire to refer your Grace to our aforesaid letter of Sept. 11th etc., to which we have nothing to add, but that the dangers we then apprehended are become by so much the more pressing as the French are more encreased in numbers and strength in those islands, to which, notwithstanding the pretended claim of the French, His Majesty has a most undoubted title: We therefore desire your Grace will please to receive H.M. directions upon this subject, the welfare of our Sugar Colonies depending thereon. Enclosed,
293. i. Extract from Report of Committee of Council of Barbados, 28th Oct., 1735, upon Sta. Lucia, St. Vincent and Dominico. 4½ pp.
293. ii. Extracts from depositions taken in proof of statements in preceding. 4 pp. [C.O. 152, 40. ff. 271, 271 v., 274–278 and without enclosures C.O. 29, 16. pp. 46, 47.
April 21.294. Mr. Attorney General to Mr. Popple. I am sorry that we have not been able to get time to consider the Act for ye better preservation of ye King's Woods in America etc. It will be impossible now to do it till after ye holy days etc. Suggests that Mr. Fane should confer with the Solicitor General and himself after Easter, and that Mr. Popple should attend etc. Signed, J. Willes. Endorsed, Recd. 22nd April, Read 4th May, 1736. Holograph. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 879. ff. 2, 3 v.]
April 21.
Whitehall.
295. Order of Committee of Privy Council. Referring back to the Council of Trade and Plantations representations of 12th June and 4th Sept., 1735, proposing the sending of hemp-seed to the Massachusetts Bay and New Hampshire, for their reconsideration. Signed, Temple Stanyan. Endorsed, Recd., Read 7th May, 1736. 1 p. Enclosed,
295. i, ii. Copies of representations of 12th June and 4th Sept., 1735. [C.O. 5, 879. ff. 5, 6–7 v., 8 v.]
April 22.296. John Yeamans, Agent for Antigua, and Richard Coope, Agent for St. Christophers, to the Duke of Newcastle. By the Treaty of Peace and Neutrality, 1686, it is stipulated, that in case any disputes should arise in the colonies between the subjects of the said Crowns, they shall be determin'd by the Governours of the said Colonies respectively, but that if in a year their mutual controversies cannot be settled then the same should be transmitted to Great Britain and France to be determined according to justice, and as the respective Crowns shall think fit. H.M. subjects in the Southern parts of America have for several years past suffered great hardships by the depredations committed by the French, not only in a clandestine and piraticall manner, but openly by the authority of the French King's Arret of 1727 contrary to the peace and good correspondence which H.M. Subjects have endeavoured to cultivate with those of the Crown of France, and contrary to the express intent and genuine sense of the said Treaty. William Mathew, Esqr., H.M. Governor of the Leeward Islands has us'd all proper means with the Marqs. de Champigny the French Governour of Martinique that a stop might be put to these proceedings, but in vain. 'Tis therefore in compliance with the said Treaty, that we lay before your Grace the annex'd copys of original transcripts relating thereto, as certified by the said Governour Mathew, and that we beg your Grace to represent the same to H.M. What regard is paid by the French to the said Treaty will appear to your Grace from comparing the 5th, 6th, 11th and 17th Articles thereof with the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 11th Articles of the French King's Edict in 1727, and in particular with Article the 3rd whereby all strangers are forbid to sail within a league of any of the French Islands, inhabited or not inhabited, under pain of forfeiting their vessells and cargoes and one thousand livres besides; and all the subjects of France are permitted by a general letter of marque mentioned in the 5th Article to seize such vessells as in time of war. This Edict was the more severe on H.M. subjects, as no notice was given them of it or warning to keep out of its way; and accordingly the first effects thereof fell on a poor innocent family or two at Sta. Cruz, an Island long since deserted by the French, consequently not within the meaning of the 5th Article of the said Treaty of Peace and Neutrality which regards such Islands only as were possess'd, or should be possess'd by either of the contracting powers. While this Edict subsists, the liberty of navigation stipulated in the 5th and 11th Articles of the said Treaty will be render'd very precarious, since 'tis scarce possible for H.M. subjects to sail to or from Barbadoes or any of the Leeward Islands, without running the risque by calms, currents, or contrary winds, of driving within a league of the French shores, and so falling into the hands of their Guarde de cotes; and this in fact was the unfortunate case of a British shallop condemned at Guardeloupe, she drove by accident from the ship she belonged to in a dark night, she had neither victuals, drink, any arms, not so much as a musquet on board, yet the poor sailors not knowing what island they were come to, starving and in an open shallop, instead of meeting with the releif, humanity and kindness mentioned in the 6th Article of the said Treaty, were all imprison'd, fin'd, and strip'd naked, and the shallop was confiscated. This may it please your Grace is a fact that will be testified by Capt. Barnsly, Commander of H.M. ship the Namure, and if this is the equitable construction which the French put upon the said Treaty, 'tis humbly hoped that H.M. subjects may be allowed (could they prevail upon themselves to do it) to construe the said Treaty in the same equitable manner. If the reason given by the said Marqs. de Champigny in his letter be a good reason for the seizure of the English sloop Amity, namely because she was within a league of the French shore, the same reason becomes equally good, with great submission, on our part, and will sufficiently justify the seizure of the French sloop Fortune, mentioned in M. de Champigny's letter. If the two English sloops burnt by the French man-of-war and guard de cote at the deserted Island of Sta. Cruz had no legal trial and condemnation, as it is plain they had not, the Marqs. de Champigny can have little reason to expect the restitution of the French sloop La Marie because 'tis alledg'd she was not legally tryed and condemn'd. H.M. Commission to his Governors of the Leeward Islands, and your Grace's letter which directed reprisals to be made, wou'd (as it's apprehended) justifie Governour Mathew if he had taken the La Marie, by way of reprisal, anywhere in the high seas. Your Memorialists further beg leave to represent that it appears by Mr. President Smith's letter that warning was given to the French, they were told, and indeed natural justice might instruct them, in what manner the English Government would be obliged to act in case these depredations were continued. But quite different has been the conduct of the French towards us, for the first notice H.M. subjects received of the French King's Edict of 1727, was by the burning of two of their sloops at Sta. Cruz. This affair has already been laid before your Grace together with the minutes of the Councill of St. Christophers thereupon, and the petition of the two unhappy sufferers, owners of the said sloops, who have since been reduced together with their familys to the lowest degree of poverty and distress. The methods prescribed in your Grace's letter for demanding restitution by a declaratory sentence have met with so little success, that the said Capt. Barnsly, Commander of H.M. ship Namure, who carryed such a demand to Guardeloup for Mardenburg sloop mentioned in the papers, received no other answer from the French but this, namely that he might begin to make reprisals as soon as he pleas'd, where he should take one vessel they would take ten. Governour Mathew weary of seeing H.M. subjects under his government used with such severity and contempt, beaten, imprison'd and thrown into dungeons without the common necessarys of life, and even in the case of touching at uninhabited islands thro' distress as appears by the annexd papers particularly, thought it his duty to fit out and man a very large sloop at his own expence for the purposes mentioned in the papers. 'Twas then at last that Mons. Champigny began to see the rigour of his Master's Edict, and declares he will represent it to his Court. So hard was it for the French Governour to see the irregularity of his own proceedings, till Mr. Mathew pointed it out to him by a resentment, which we hope your Grace will esteem, not only just, but even necessary for the vindication of H.M. honour, and for the security of the commerce of his subjects. Memorialists apprehend it to be highly reasonable that the charges which Governour Mathew has been at by the breach of the said Treaty on the part of the French, should be born out of the seizures he has made, and that the Crown of France should either be obliged to revoke the said Edict of 1727, or else that all H.M. Governour's in America may have full liberty to construe the Treaty of Neutrality as the French do. If coming within a league of the French snores is actually coming to trade, and if what is called a design to trade is trading tho without any proof of such design, then it follows that their coming within a league of our shores is with an intent to trade, and is trade, and that we ought to condemn as they do, for with great submission what is law to one nation ought to be so to another, in the construction of all Treaties whatsoever. Upon the whole we beg leave to referr your Grace to the annexd papers for many more particulars of importance relating to this affair, humbly relying upon your Grace's goodness to construe in the most favourable manner what we have endeavoured to explain with regard to Governor Mathew's conduct, watchfullness and zeal for H.M. service, and for the protection and welfare of his subjects, beseeching your Grace at the same time to move H.M. for his gracious approbation of the measures the said Governour Mathew has taken herein, and to give such orders as H.M. in his wisdom and justice shall think fit for the relief of his subjects against the daily interruptions in their trade, and the other oppressions and hardships they suffer in their persons from the insults and depredations of the French in America. Signed, for Jno. Yeamans Esqr. and Self., Ri. Coope. Endorsed, Recd, (from Mr. Coope) 4th, Read 16th Nov., 1736. 5½ pp. Enclosed,
296. i. Extracts from Treaty of Peace and Neutrality, French Edict, 1727, Governor's Instructions, and copies of depositions, and correspondence of Duke of Newcastle, Governor Mathew, President Smith (Nevis), and Marquis de Champigny, 1732–1736, referred to in preceding. Same endorsement, 41 pp. [C.O. 152, 22. ff. 160–162 v., 163 v., 164 v–183, 184, 184 v., 185 v. and 156–158 v. another copy].
April 30.
Boston.
297. Mr. Peagrum, Surveyor General of the Customs in N. America, to Mr. Popple. Reply to his enquiry of 12th Dec. last, as to what has been the effect of the bounty given by the Province Act of 1735, to encourage the raising hemp and flax. The bounty has raised some people of industry and gentlemen. to plant it in some few acres of land which have produc'd tollerably well. But so little of the land is suitable for it, and the raising of it is attended with so great expence, and the term of that act so short, besides their want of seed for the first year, that the act has prov'd of no great consequence, tho' 'tis my opinion if the bounty had been given for ten years the planters wou'd have made a great progress in it. What views they had for giving the bounty on flax I don't know, but am inform'd there is little more of that produc'd than was before the bounty was given. About forty miles from this place there is a township call'd Nuttfield inhabited chiefly by Irish who in the winter employ themselves in making coarse linnen, and some fine has been made by way of experiment only, but with greater expence than it coud be imported at. What linnen they make more than for their own use they generally barter for British commodities. In the summer their time is spent mostly in subduing their lands. What I have observ'd of the New England people is, they are not much inclin'd to learn manufactures. But their chief aim is to procure tracts of land, tho' there is no advantage arises from their possession than to sell them at high rates to persons that come over to settle, (which with submission I take to be a hinderance to the growth of this part of the Continent), etc. Signed, Jno. Peagrum. Endorsed, Recd. 8th June, Read 11th Nov., 1736. 2 ½ pp. [C.O. 5, 879. ff. 77–78 v.].