America and West Indies
December 1710, 11-20

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Institute of Historical Research

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Cecil Headlam (editor)

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1924

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310-326

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'America and West Indies: December 1710, 11-20', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 25: 1710-1711 (1924), pp. 310-326. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=73845 Date accessed: 16 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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December 1710, 11-20

Dec. 11.
London.
544. Separate Traders to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Reply to Nov. 1st. (i) The sum paid in London to the Royal African Company on account of the 10 p.c., Michaelmas 1709–1710 amounts to £3241 1s. 6d., and by allowances on ships lost £539 9s. 6d.; and in Bristol to £1577 5s. 0½d., and by allowances on ships lost £252 18s. 3d.=£5610 14s. 3½d. But having not yet received an account of what hath been paid on the 2 ships fitted out at Leverpool, nor of the 5 ships fitted out at Jamaica and Barbadoes, nor of what have been fitted out from other Islands, we cannot come at the true account thereof, but compute the money paid on those vessels to amount to about 8 or £900 more. (ii) The private traders have sent out in that time 24 ships from London, 20 from Bristol, 2 from Leverpool, two from Jamaica and 3 from Barbadoes—51 ships; notwithstanding we have lost since Michaelmas 1708, 30 odd ships and their cargo's, besides which we have now fitting out from this port 5; from Bristol 2; from Plimouth 1; from Whitehaven 1; and there being 7 of last years ships not return'd from their voyages, will in all make 68 sail this year employ'd by separate traders, besides such as go from the Plantations; whereas on the part of the Company we find but 3 ships sent from Great Britain this year and £398 16s. 3d. paid by them for the 10 p.c. duty. (iii) 8040 negroes were delivered by us into the Plantations, Michaelmas 1709–10, wch. were sold at Jamaica at from £16 to £24 per head; at Barbadoes from £25 to £28; at Montserrat, Nevis and Antigua at £30 to £35; the money of these places being 20 p.c. worse than that of Jamaica. 3 or 4 of our biggest ships were taken by the enemy before they began their trade, and six others with 1256 negro's on board were taken on their way to the West Indies. part of which were design'd for Barbadoes, by which means there were at least 2700 negro's delivr'd into the Plantations less than otherwise would have been, yet it is very remarkable that the number of private ships in this year's trade exceeds that of last year by 14, which is a convincing proof that the African trade is not likely to be lost or in a declining condition by reason of private traders, as is suggested by the Company, but, on the contrary, in a much better state in respect to the Plantations (altho' now in war and under the greatest discouragements) than at any time in peace under the Company when exclusive, from whom of late years it must indeed be own'd the said Trade hath receiv'd very deep wounds, both abroad and at home, by their making and ('tis fear'd) continuing an alliance with our enemies for our destruction, buying our ships' cargoes of the enemy, after they have taken them on the coast; and hindring the natives in Africa from buying our British manufactures, while they encourage the Portuguese, our great rivals in the sugar trade, thereby raising the price of negroes on the coast, in order to ruin separate traders (method described); whereby the Company have laid a foundation for the effectual ruin of our Plantations. As to their charge that separate traders imported no gold, we have this year by three of our ships imported £7000 in gold dust, and we compute that all our other vessels did import at least £500 each in gold, which together exceeds the annual import of the Company, when exclusive, very much; and as the separate traders have very near beat the Dutch interlopers out of the trade, who sent out but two or three ships last year, so in time there is great reason to believe the subjects of Great Britain will have the sole trade on the Gold Coast, especially if we were freed from the practices of the Company, who prove a greater annoyance to the trade every year than another, etc. Signed, Joseph Martin and 9 others. Endorsed, Recd. 13th, Read 20th Dec., 1710. 3large pp. Enclosed,
544. i., ii. Accounts of ships sent and 10 p.c. duty paid, and woollen goods exported by separate traders, Michaelmas 1708–1709 and 1709–10, v. supra. Same endorsement. 2 pp.
544. iii. Testimonial of John Hays as to the Governor of the African Company trading with the French. Same endorsement. 1 p.
544. iv. Testimonial of Jacob Duce as to the protection given by the Royal African Company's Agents to Portuguese ships trading to Africa. Signed, Jacob Duce. Same endorsement. 1¼ pp. [C.O. 388, 13. Nos. 102–106; and (without enclosures) 389, 21. pp. 359–370.]
Dec. 12.
Whitehall.
545. Lord Dartmouth to Governor Handasyd. H.M. is willing to gratify your regiment in their petition for relief, but cannot do it at present, there being no regiment now that can be sent on that service, but as soon as possible care shall be taken to relieve your Regiment. Signed, Dartmouth. [C.O. 324, 32. pp. 50, 51; and 324, 31. pp. 11, 12.]
Dec. 12.
Whitehall.
546. Mr. Popple to John Hyde. Enquires for any further information in the case of Charles Arrabella. [C.O. 5, 727. pp. 210, 211.]
Dec. 12.
Whitehal.
547. Mr. Popple to Mr. Carkesse. The Council of Trade and Plantations desire an account of the amount of the bonds taken for the payment of the duties on prize goods in Jamaica (v. Dec. 9 etc.), and what sum has already been paid there since the American Act. [C.O. 138, 13. pp. 306, 307.]
Dec. 13.
Whitehal.
548. Same to Same. The Council of Trade and Plantations having been informed that great quantities of goods, for the duties whereof bonds were given at Jamaica, have since been imported into this Kingdom, and paid the duties here, they desire you would give them what light you can in this matter, etc. [C.O. 138, 13. pp. 307, 308.]
[Dec. 13.]549. Capt. Vane, late Ingineer at Newfoundland, to the Council of Trade and Plantations. On proposals for fortifying St. John's, Ferryland and Trinity. Signed, G. Vane. Endorsed, Recd. Read Dec. 13, 1710. 3 pp. [C.O. 194, 4. No. 144; and 195, 5. pp. 164–170.]
Dec. 13.
Whitehall.
550. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Proprietors of Carolina. Reply to Dec. 7. We have looked back into our Books, and do therein find that the method formerly taken by your Lordships for obtaining H.M. approbation of your Governors, has been to make application to H.M. in Council for the same, which method if your Lordships shal think proper to continue, and H.M. shal be pleas'd thereupon to referr that matter to us, as has usually been done, the same will be then taken into consideration. [C.O. 5, 1292. p. 236.]
Dec. 13.
St. James's
551. Order of Queen in Council. Referring three Addresses of Maryland (v. Feb. 2 and A.P.C. II. No. 1130) to the Council of Trade and Plantations for their opinion. Signed, Christo. Musgrave. Endorsed, Recd. 18th, Read 20th Dec., 1710. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 717. No. 23; and 5, 727. pp. 216, 217.]
Dec. 13.
St. James's
552. Order of Queen in Council. Referring enclosed to the Council of Trade and Plantations for their report. Signed, Christo. Musgrave. Endorsed, Recd. Read Jan. 2, 17 10/11. 1 p. Enclosed,
552. i. Petition of Sir T. Lawrence to the Queen. Prays H.M. to inforce his right to the benefit of licences denied by the address of the Council and Assembly of Maryland. (v. No. 551, and A.P.C. II. No. 1130). Copy. 1½ pp.
552. ii. Memorandum of petitions and orders relating to Sir T. Lawrence's claims. 1½ pp. [C.O. 5, 717. Nos. 24, 24 i., ii.; and (without No. ii.) 5, 727. pp. 218–221.]
Dec. 14.553. Mr. Cumings to Mr. Popple. Encloses following, "by which their Lops. will see the difference betwixt the inhabitants' boats of St. John's and Ferryland is but one … the advantageous situation of Ferryland for fortification is such that £1000 charge wou'd make that stronger than 5000 wou'd any other part of that country." Signed, Archd. Cumings. Endorsed, Recd. Read Dec. 15, 1710, Addressed. Postmark. 1 p. Enclosed,
553. i. A scheme of the Fishery of Newfoundland for 1710. Amplifies No. 511 ii. Signed and endorsed as preceding. 1 p. [C.O. 194, 4. Nos. 145, 145 i.; and 195, 5. pp. 171, 172.]
Dec. 15.
Virginia.
554. Lt. Governor Spotswood to [? Lord Dartmouth]. Congratulations. Continues:—The present conveyance will permitt me to trouble your Lordp. with little else than only to acquaint you that our Assembly is just now broke up, after having passed several laws, which I hope will be agreeable to H.M., and demonstrate that perfect harmony there is in this Government, etc. Signed, A. Spotswood. 1½ pp. [C.O. 5, 1337. Nos. 7, and (duplicate) 19.]
Dec. 15.
Virginia.
555. Lt. Governor Spotswood to the Council of Trade and Plantations. By an express from New York which arrived here yesterday, I had the honour to receive your Lordps'. of May 17 and Aug. 28 and 30th, and take the opportunity of the return of the express to informe your Lordps. that the Assembly broke up the 9th inst., after having passed 15 publick and two private Acts, in which, and in the other affairs that have been before them, they have shewed a due regard to H.M. service, and given proofs of that good correspondence wch. I have had the good fortune to cultivate with them; whereof I doubt not your Lordps. will receive further satisfaction when the laws and other proceedings shal come to your hands. There is one thing in which I have not been able to surmount the private interests of particular members of the House of Burgesses, and that is the making a more equal division of the countys between York and James Rivers. I gave your Lordps. in my last an account of the inconveniencys I had then observed to arise by permitting the division of parishes to be treated in the Assembly, and of the influence I perceived it had on the election of Representatives: but having at the begining of this Session received petitions from the inhabitants of a very small county on James River praying an addition of part of an adjoining County lying more commodious to them, then to the rest of that county to wch. it now belongs, I thought it a fitt time to try the temper of the house of Burgesses in that particular, and did with the unanimous concurrence of the Council propose such a division of the several countys between those two rivers as would have made them all very commodious for the inhabitants, and pretty near an equality in their tithables, and consequently in their county levys and publick charges: but when this came to be debated in the House of Burgesses, the private ends of the Representatives of those countys overswayed the publick benefite of the people, and more particularly through the dilligence of one leading man, who by the alteration proposed, would have lost many of his old friends that had voted for him in former elections, and got others into his county of whose friendship he was no ways confident, that project came to be rejected: upon which I humbly take leave to represent to your Lordps. the many inconveniencys under which the people labour in diverse parts of the country for want of a due regulation of their countys and parishes, and the little hopes there is of being relieved by their Assemblys, who, besides their private interests are so fond of their old customs and constitutions that they are afraid of making any alteration, tho' apparently for the better. At the first settlement of this country people seated themselves along the banks of the Great Rivers, and knew very little of the inland parts beyond the bounds of their own private Plantations being kept in aw by the Indians from venturing further, neither had they any other correspondence than only by water, and this continuing for several years till the people began to be numerous. and necessity obliged them to have Courts for the administration of Justice, the principal settlements then gave denomination to the several countys, and the inhabts. of other places associated themselves with those countys to which they lay most convenient and fixed their Courthouses in such places as were then most accessible. According to which disposition the countys next the mouth of James River (tho' at that time best peopled) being bounded by other settlemts. are extremely small, and never will have an opportunity of enlarging their bounds, while the upper countys have extended themselves to an extravagant length along the sides of the rivers as they now are. Afterwards when the more inland parts of the country came to be inhabited and roads were made from one river to another, though they discovered the inconveniency of their first establishment, yet the unwillingness they found in many people to alter what they had been long accustomed to, and perhaps the like private ends as now prevail disappointed the attempts that have been made for a more equal division untill at last those inconveniencys are become intollerably burthensome to the country; some countys are now 90 miles in length, and the inhabitants are obliged in some places to travell 30 or 40 miles to their own Court house, tho' they live within six miles of the Court house of another county. Some of the countys have 16 or 1700 tithables, while others have little more than 500, and are confined to the narrow compass of 10 or a dozen miles square. Other countys are divided by large rivers, so that whenever the inhabitants of the opposite side of the river have occasion to repair to their Courts, General musters, and other publick meetings, the ferriage of each, in going and returning amounts to 2s. or half a crown, by wch. it is evident how unequally H.M. subjects are taxed, in their county levys, as well as the unnecessary trouble many of them are put to, for want of a better regulation of the countys. There is likewise a mighty difficulty to find Justices of the Peace in the large countys, those who live remote from the Court houses being unwilling to accept of the office, that they may avoid the trouble of riding 40 or 50 miles to their monethly courts. There are the like inconveniencys attending the present settlement of parishes, and proceeding from the same cause, of wch. many instances might be given but I shal only trouble your Lordps. with one, to witt, the parish of Verina in the upper parts of James River has near 900 tithables in it, a great many of which live 50 miles from their Church, and very seldom come there; there is joining to this parish another consisting only of 72 tithables, and almost encompassed with the parish of Verina. Yet tho that remote part of the parish of Verina lyes extremely commodious to this small parish and the inhabitants are very desirous to be joined to it, all endeavours that have been used hitherto for obtaining this conjunction have proved in vain, and the vestry of Verina will part with none of their parishioners because it would encrease the parish levy of those that remain, wch. (I'm sorry to tell your Lordps.) is more regarded than the souls of their fellow parishoners; and if no remedy can be applyed to this, the consequence must be, that those poor people who are deprived of the benefits of the publick worship, will either degenerate into Paganisme or Atheism, or at best give opportunity to sectarys to establish their opinions amongst them, and thereby shake that happy establishment of the Church of England, which this Colony enjoys with less mixture of Dissenters than any other of H.M. Plantations: and when once schism has crept into the Church, it will soon create faction in the Civil Government. These, my Lords, are the inconveniencys wch. flow from the present constitution of the countys and parishes, and the remedying thereof will prove equally difficult, if it must only be expected from the Assembly, because the greater number of the ancient Freeholders who first fixt their Courthouses and Churches for their own conveniency, will with others who are indifferent in the matter, always out-ballance the injured in the election of their Representatives and will be sure to chuse such as are of their party. I find by a speech of my Lord Effingham's to the Assembly in 1684, that he had authority by his Commission to bound countys and parishes, and that by vertue thereof, he put a stop to their proceedings in a case of that nature then before them: but since neither my Commission nor Instructions contain any such power for fixing the bounds of countys, I am unwilling to make such a step without your Lordps.' directions and approbation: neither should I be ambitious of a power in the execution of which I must expect to disoblige several men of considerable figure in the Government, if it were not out of the earnest desire I have to do equal justice to all my fellow subjects, and that I am well assured it will prove of universal advantage to the country, as well as more agreeable to the generality of the people than the fruitless applications they have hitherto been accustomed to make to their Assemblys. And if by this means I can once compass such an equal division as I propose, I shal then use my best endeavours to obtain for your Lordps. an exact survey of the several countys, and with that a true rent roll wch. has been so long desired, and towards which there is now a good foundation laid by some clauses which I have got inserted in a Bill passed this session. I have had much struggle both with the Council and Burgesses in relation to the conditions of taking up land mentioned in H.M. Instructions. As this was the chief grievance with which most of the countys had charged their Burgesses, that House did pretty early present an Address to me to permitt land to be taken up in the ancient method, and intended before the end of their session to have prepared an Address to H.M. on the same subject. But as I gave them no hopes at first of such a condescention, so the answer I sent them at last contains such reasons deduced from their own records and the first constitutions of the Government as, I believe, has convinced them they have not so much cause to complain of H.M. late conditions as they imagined, and by that means I have diverted them from interrupting H.M. more weighty affairs with their Representations; and your Lordps. will find no other applications to H.M. from this Assembly than only an Address of thanks for H.M. late favours to the Colony and expressing the ease and happiness they at present enjoy. Though I have reason to believe that all discontents about the manner of granting of land are now over, yet I am humbly of opinion that H.M. might receive considerable service, and the country great satisfaction as well as advantage, if permission were given to take up land on one side of James River only, upon the ancient conditions of seating and planting: that River, according to the best accounts of the Indians, issues from a lake on the other side of the great mountains that ly to the westward of us, and makes its way through them. If such a permission were granted there, while the lands in other places are under stricter conditions, the people would soon carry on their settlements to the very source of that River, and the advantages that may reasonably be expected from hence are these, that whereas the French are endeavouring to settle a communication between Canada and their late settlements on Mississippi by the way of the Lakes, our people would by pushing on their settlements in one straight line along the banks of James River be able to cutt off that communication, and fix themselves so strongly there, that it would not be in the power of the French to dislodge them, especially considering how much further they must travell than we, to come at that place, as seems to be manifest by the discoverys wch. I have encouraged to be made this Fall by a Company of Adventurers who found the Mountains not above 100 miles from our upper inhabitants, and went up to the top of the highest mountain with their horses, tho they had hitherto been thought to be unpassable, and they assure me that the descent on the other side seem'd to them to be as easy as that they had pass'd on this, and that they could have passed over the whole ledge (wch. is not large) if the season of the year had not been too far advanced before they set out on that expedition. And by this means also it is most probable that a very profitable trade might be established with forreign Nations of Indians, and our Indian traders would find convenient places of refreshment without being obliged (as they are now) to travell some hundreds of miles through desarts before they can vend their commoditys. I gave your Lops, in my last an account of a project intended to be laid before the Assembly for carrying on an iron work: but that design did not meet with the countenance wch. was expected from the house of Burgesses, it being the temper of the people here never to favour any undertaking unless they can see a particular advantage to themselves, and these iron mines lying only at the Falls of James River, the rest of the Countrey did not apprehend any benefite they should reap thereby: since therefore the country have so little inclination to make use of the advantages which nature has put into their hands, I humbly propose to your Lordps.' consideration whether it might not turn to good account if H.M. would be pleased to take that work into her own hands, sending over workmen and materials for carrying it on, and employing therein her Revenue of Quitt-rents, wch. would be a sufficient fund to bring it to perfection. I have been assured that the oar has been tryed and found extraordinary rich, and I have discoursed the owners of the land and find them very willing to yeild up their right into H.M. hands without expecting any other consideration than such an office in the management of the work as they shal be found capable of. The iron might be sent home as ballast to ships without any other charge than of sloops or lighters to put it on board: and by this means H.M. may prevent its being manufactured in the countrey, wch. is the only ill consequence that might have been feared if this work had been undertaken by the inhabitants. As to that part of your Lordps.' letter of Aug. 28, wherein your Lordps. are pleased to expect a particular account of the resolutions of the General Court as well in relation to the settling and adjusting the boundarys between this Colony and Carolina as to the interruption given by that Province to the Indian Trade, neither of those affairs were treated of in the General Court, but only in the Council, and I hope the proceedings which I sent your Lordps. by the Fleet will satisfy your Lordships of my endeavours to bring the first to a speedy determination, and as to the latter I have lately received complaints of fresh interruptions given to our Indian traders. Whereupon I am now preparing an express to be sent to South Carolina with a duplicate of H.M. Order in Council, and to know the reason why that order is not obeyed, since I have been well assured it has been sent to that Government long ago by a conveyance from London. I have already acknowledged your Lordships' favour in hastning hither the Triton's prize. and that both that ship and the Enterprize were here, and would be a sufficient defence for our coast against the enemy's privateers. The intended insurrection of the negros mentioned in your Lordps.' letter to have been communicated by Col. Jenings, gave me occasion at the begining of this Session to recommend to this Assembly to make provision against the like accidents, and especially to prevent the meetings and consultations of the negros, upon which they spent several days in framing a Bill; but it being loaded with so many clauses which were thought too severe by the majority of the House, they very unaccountably threw out the whole bill to the great regrette of the wiser part of the House who by an Address to me have made appologys for that miscarriage and referred the further consideration of that matter to the next Session. I wish I could inform your Lordps. that the sickness wherewith this Countrey hath been of late afflicted was wholly abated; but I'm sorry to acquaint your Lordships that it still continues, and that about three weeks ago Col. Churchill one of the Council died of it. I have also received by this conveyance a letter from Mr. Popple with the list of fees to be taken by the officers of the Admiralty, and shall take care that the same be punctually observed. Should I inlarge now on all the proceedings of the late Assembly, I am afraid I should swell this letter to a larger bulk than perhaps might be proper to send by this conveyance, nor shall I hereafter trouble your Lordps. with large accounts by these pacquett boats till I know your Lordps.' pleasure therein. I therefore referr to my next which I hope in a short time to send with the Laws and Journals of this Assembly by the conveyance of some ships of force bound hence for Great Brittain. Signed, A. Spotswood. Endorsed, Recd. 15th, Read 29th June, 1711. 7 pp. [C.O. 5, 1316. No. 64: and 5. 1363. pp. 304–317.]
Dec. 15.
Whitehall.
556. Council of Trade and Plantations to Lord Dartmouth. In answer to your Lordship's letter of Dec. 7 (q.v.). we have received letters from Capt. Bennet, the contents whereof are the same as the abovementioned. As to James Briggs. enclose copies of letter and affidavits, Nov. 28, q.v. However, as no witnesses appeared against him, nor the said Briggs put upon his tryal. he cannot be said to have been cleared here. And therefore we have lately sent to Capt. Bennet copies of the said affidavit and certificate, that he may proceed further in this matter, as he shall find good grounds for so doing, and as may be most for H.M. service. As to the soldiers condemned for conspiring to run away with the sloop Flying Fame, and go a pirating, we observe that there were eight engaged in that design, two whereof pleaded guilty, and having been pardoned, were produced as witnesses against the others; two were found guilty only of part of what was laid in the information against them, and were therefore order'd to be whipt; the other four were convicted of the last mentioned crime and received sentence of death, of which number is the said Anthony Kenty whom the Governor has recommended as a fit object of H.M. mercy, in that he refused to joyn with the others in murdering him, the said Governor, as had been proposed. Therefore, if H.M. shall, according to her wonted goodness and compassion think fit to extend her royal mercy to the said Anthony Kenty, and shall for that purpose direct the said Governor to pardon him, we have no objection thereto. As to the other three now under sentence of death, tho the forementioned intercession of the Governor in behalf of the said Anthony Kenty do's tacitly imply that the Governor does not look upon any of the others to be a fit object of H.M. mercy, yet in regard he is best able to judge whether, for the peace and safety of the Island, it may be necessary that any of them be executed, and for that he is likewise best able to judge whether those convicts have such a due sence of their crime, and sorrow for the same, as may induce him to believe they will not be guilty of the like for the future, in case of pardon, of which matters we are no way apprised, nor acquainted with the practice of Court Marshals; therefore we humbly offer that either the Governor be left to do therein as he shall judge best for H.M. service and the safety of the Island, according to powers vested in him by his Commission, which are sufficient in that behalf, or that he be directed to give his opinion as to the pardoning or the executing all or any of those three condemned persons, whereupon H.M. may then declare her further pleasure therein. [C.O. 38, 6. pp. 511–514.]
Dec 17.
Dartmouth.
557. Mayor etc. of Dartmouth to [? Lord Dartmouth]. We have sent our Burgesses a petition to H.M. concerning the Newfoundland Trade. It is the onely support of this place, and of great use and advantage to the country about us: and should Mr. Moody (who now seekes to command in cheif there, and to settle a garrison at Ferriland and dismantle that of St. Johns) succeed in his design, the Newfoundland trade will be in danger of being intirely lost to us, etc. Signed, Joseph Bulley, Mayor, and 9 others. 1 p. [C.O. 194, 22. No. 78.]
Dec. 18.
Whitehall.
558. Council of Trade and Plantations to Lord Dartmouth. Enclose following. Autograph signatures. 1 p. Enclosed,
558. i. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Queen. In obedience to your Majesty's commands (Dec. 4), we have reconsidered our Representation of Feb. 23, etc., and have discoursed Capt. Moody and Mr. George Vane, etc. As to the state in which the Fort at St. Johns was before the French took it, Major Lloyd the then Commander did (Oct., Nov. 1708) inform us that the garrison was in as good a condition as he desired for that winter; that the company of soldiers consisting of 80 private men, besides officers, was compleat; that about 800 of the inhabitants wou'd winter under the covert of the Fort, and that all things were in so good a posture, that if the enemy made any impression there, he was willing the blame shou'd be laid upon him. And as Capt. Moody and others have informed us, there were at that time in the Fort 48 peices of cannon, with some mortars, bombs, arms, and ammunition in proportion: all which were carried to Placentia in April 1709, the said guns being now mounted there. In relation to the state of Newfoundland since 1708, we find that the Old Fort and the Castle on the South side of the entrance into the harbour having been blown up, except part of the mud wall of the Fort, and most of the houses of the inhabitants of St. Johns having been burnt, Capt. Taylor the Commodore of the Newfoundland convoy in 1709 (after the fishing season was over) with the seamen belonging to your Majesty's ships of war, and to the fishing ships, did repair the Fort, as well as the short time of his stay, and the materials they had, wou'd allow; and the inhabitants built themselves hutts within the Fort; in which place he left eight guns, with some smal arms and other necessaries. At the same time he appointed Mr. John Collins, one of the principal inhabitants, to be Commander in Chief of the Fort, who continues in that command till your Majesty's further pleasure shall be known therein. We do not find that since Commodore Taylor's departure, anything has been done for the better security of the Fort, only that the said John Collins has carried round the works a fourth rank of palissadoes (v. Dec. 4). Notwithstanding the care taken by the Commodore, we find the inhabitants remaining at St. Johns are in a very bad condition; for that besides their former sufferings, they are much impoverish'd by the great contributions raised upon them by the French in 1708, and are left exposed without a fort, arms, ammunition or provisions sufficient to protect and support them, whereas the French are grown stronger. The stone wall round Placentia is finished, several new fortifications added, and that place furnished with guns and other stores of war taken at St. Johns; the strength of the garrison is increased by a supply of 200 soldiers from France, etc. (v. Dec. 4). The great advantages that accrue to this Kingdom from the Newfoundland Fishery, and the necessity of protecting that Trade, being well known, we shall only lay before your Majesty, that having considered the frequent losses your Majesty's subjects have sustained there, during the winter, by the incursions of the French, we consulted the principle persons here, and in the outports concerned in that trade, and others not long since arrived from Newfoundland; and thereupon we are humbly of opinion that since the like number and force of ships of war is to be sent thither the next year as were imployed in that service the last fishing season (v. Dec. 2), the same will be a sufficient protection to that Fishery during the summer season. Though that number of ships will be sufficient for a summer guard, yet considering the neighbouring settlements and strength of the French, unless there is a good security at land for the inhabitants during the winter, the Fishery cannot be carried on, and that Trade driven so much to the benefit of this Kingdom, as otherwise it may be. The necessity of protecting the inhabitants during the winter will appear in that the French are increased in their strength at Placentia; that there are considerable effects of the British merchants left at Newfoundland every year; and that the inhabitants provide great quantities of winter stores for their own consumption, and also of fish and train oyl, which the British.ships on their arrival there find ready to barter or exchange for the manufactures and other goods of this Kingdom, so that the preservation and increase of that Fishery do's much depend upon the security of the inhabitants, and the certainty the merchants may have thereof; which serves as a measure or rule to them for their adventures. We are therefore humbly of opinion, that a land strength is necessary for their security in winter, as ships of war are in the summer season. In order whereunto, it will be convenient that a good Fort be built in the most proper place, and that the same be provided with a sufficient garrison; to which Fort the inhabitants may, with their effects, retire in the winter. Ferryland Down, which lyes to the southward of St. Johns, is, as we are informed, a rising ground, clear of woods, and that there is no place nigh, to annoy it; nor can any ship come within some leagues without being seen; it is joined to the Island by a narrow neck of land or Peninsula, not above 20 or 30 yards broad, and may easily be made an Island, if it shall be judged necessary. 'Tis further said, that Ferryland Harbour is in the form of a pentagon, about a mile long, and three quarters of a mile broad, and is large enough to contain from 40 to 50 ships; and that the shore about it (except the Down) being level with the water, the same is as convenient as at St. Johns, for building of stages and flakes for curing and drying the fish. This Harbour, with those of Caplin Bay and Aquafort (lying about a mile from it) and Firmoose, about a league distant, may contain several hundred sail. That Ferryland excells all other harbours in plenty of fish and bait, which come earlyer thither by a week or 10 days, than to St. Johns, where they are forced to go some distance for the same. That the entrance into Ferryland Harbour is safe and secure: there are indeed some winds which make a high sea; however 'tis not dangerous by reason there are no rocks there. The streight in the said entrance into Ferryland is much shorter than that into St. Johns Harbour; into which last mentioned harbour it is difficult to enter with certain winds, unless assisted by the tow or the grapple; and very often ships have lain there 48 hours before they could gett in. Lastly Ferryland being so advantageously situated, it may be fortified at a much less expence, than any other place in Newfoundland, and will secure the inhabitants and their effects in the winter if they retire thither, there being ground enough, if duely parcelled out, to contain seven or eight hundred families; and it will also protect (with a good garrison there) the harbours of Firmoose, Caplin Bay, and Aquafort from any attempts of the enemy by land. As to St. John's, the harbour is capacious; but the late Fort there was not capable of protecting the inhabitants houses, and the stages, by reason that the same were scattered up and down, with several hills and vallies between them and the said Fort; nor cou'd it by reason of its heighth and distance defend the entrance of the harbour, or the ships or boats that fish there, besides that it was commanded by two adjacent hills. Captain Vane, the late Ingineer there, is of the same opinion, and therefore proposed the building of a Fort at another place, called the Admiral's Rock, but we are informed by Capt. Moody and Mr. Cummins, who has lived there many years, and lately come from thence, that the Admiral's Rock is a quarter of a mile further distant from the entrance of the harbour than the place where the late Fort stood, and wou'd therefore be of no protection to that harbour or the inhabitants. For the foregoing reasons, Ferryland is generally agreed to be the most proper place to be fortified. Having lately received answers from Captn. Aldred, to the heads of enquiry given him the last year, we humbly lay before your Majesty a state of this year's fishery, with a comparison between this and the two preceeding years. Whereby it will appear how much this beneficial trade has been increased this year, notwithstanding the discouragement it has lain under, since the destroying of St. Johns Fort, and we shall insert the following calculate of the product of this year's fishery, vizt.:—
The fish carried to foreign markets is 137,226 quintals; which at 15s. per quintal comes to £102,919 10s.
The train oyl is 692 tuns; which at 15s. per tun amounts to £10,380. So that the proffit arising to this Kingdom is £113,299 10s.
We have received a Memorial from the inhabitants of St. Johns (v. No. 511 iii.), which we humbly conceive may be proper for your Majesty's consideration, when your royal pleasure in relation to the fortifying of Ferryland shall be known. Several abuses which continue to be committed there, contrary to the directions of the Act to encourage the trade to Newfoundland, are as follows. (i.) The inhabitants continue to rind the trees. (ii.) The fishing Admirals are very negligent in seeing the rules and orders concerning the regulation of the Fishery duly put in execution. And they do not keep journals of the Fishery, which they are required to do, as likewise to transmit copies thereof to your Majesty in Council. These offences have been committed in contempt of the Law, in regard there is no particular penalty upon the offender, or reward given to the prosecutor by the said Act, and the like may still be continued to the great prejudice of that fishery, unless prevented by a due execution of the law, in punishing such persons as shall for the future offend therein. Tho' no particular penalty is mentioned in the foresaid Act. yet according to the opinion of Sr. James Mountague, if any person shall offend against an Act of Parliament, requiring or prohibiting the doing of anything, he may be fined at the discretion of the Court, upon being found guilty on an indictment or information, wherefore we humbly offer that the Commodore of the next year's convoy have a commission to command at land during his stay there, and that he be fully impow'red thereby, to redress and punish all such abuses or offences as shall be committed at Newfoundland, contrary to the said Act, in such manner as the same have formerly been or lawfully may be redressed or punished, according to the known usage or custom of that place. And that in all other cases not to be redressed there, he be strictly required to inform himself, whether the several directions and provisions in the said Act, particularly those relating to the complements of Green men or Fresh men, as likewise the keeping of journals by Admirals of harbours, be duely observed and complyed with; and if he shall find they are not, that then and in such case, he be required to transmit to one of your Majesty's principal Secretarys of State, and to your Commissrs. of Trade and Plantations the names of the several persons so offending, with a particular and exact account of their respective offenses, and how proved, to the end such offenders may be proceeded against, and punished here, according to Law, in such manner as was humbly proposed by our representation, May 19, 1708. We begg leave further to represent that Commodore Aldred informs us that considerable quantities of European goods, as wine, brandy, fruit, oyle, linnen, etc. are carried directly to Newfoundland in British ships from Spain, Portugal, and Italy; which goods are truck'd at Newfoundland with the masters of New England ships, for tobacco, sugar, and other enumerated goods, and are then carried to Portugal and other foreign markets in the Streights. Of this illegal Trade we have already complained, but do not see how it can be prevented, otherwise than by an officer to be appointed by the Commissioners of your Majesty's Customs to reside there; as likewise by erecting an Admiralty Court for that purpose as formerly proposed; and we hope the service to be performed may answer the charge of such establishments. Autograph signatures. 12pp.
558. ii. Account of ordnance and boatswain's stores supplied out of H.M. ships in Newfoundland by order of Capt. Joseph Taylor, H.M.S. Litchfield, 1709. 4pp.
558. iii. Copy of address of House of Commons to the Queen, relating to the Fishery and Trade of Newfoundland, March 31, 1708. 1p.
558. iv. Return of Newfoundland Fishery for 1708, 1709, 1710, Totals: Ships, 1708, 97; 1709, 97; 1710, 93; Men belonging to the ships, 1709, 985; 1710, 2802; Fishing ships and boats, 1708, 526; 1709, 388; 1710, 518; Quintals of fish made, 1708, 135, 934; 1709, 90, 364; 1710, 172, 528; Quintals of fish carried to market, 1709, 80,600; 1710, 137, 226; tuns of oil made, 1708, 772; 1709, 503; 1710, 692; inhabitants, 1708, 2174; 1709, 1883; 1710, 2480. 1 large p. [C.O. 194, 22. Nos. 79, 79 i.–iii.; and (without enclosures ii. and iii.) 195, 5. pp. 177–191.]
Dec. 18.559. Capt. Moody to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Recommends the fortifying of Ferryland rather than St. Johns. Signed, J. Moody. Endorsed, Recd. Read Dec. 18, 1710. 2¼ pp. [C.O. 194, 4. No. 146; and 195, 5. pp. 173–176.]
Dec. 19.
Whitehall.
560. Lord Dartmouth to the Board of Ordnance. Encloses following for their report as soon as possible.Signed, Dartmouth. Copy. 1p. Enclosed,
560. i. Extract of Representation, Dec. 18, relating to the building of a Fort at Ferryland. 2¼ pp.
560. ii. Reasons offer'd by Mr. Vane and others in favour of building a fort at St. Johns, rather than at Ferryland. Copy. 2 pp.
560. iii. Reasons offered by Capt. Moody and others in favour of Ferryland. Copy. 1p. [C.O. 194, 22. Nos. 80, 80 i.–iii.]
Dec. 19.
Whitehall.
561. Council of Trade and Plantations to Lord Dartmouth. Further Representation on the case of Charles Arrabella (v. Dec. 9). We can obtain no further information, except from Richard Love, who added that but one witness was produced at the trial, a carpenter with whom Arrabella had some difference not long before. The blasphemous words whereof Arrabella was found guilty were spoken in a great passion occasioned by the spilling of some scalding pitch upon one of his feet. They were the only blasphemous words with which he was charged.
By an Act past in Maryland, Oct. 30, 1704, to punish Blasphemy, for the first offence the offender is to be bored through his tongue and fined £20 sterl. to H.M. towards the defraying the County charge where such offence was committed, or if ye party hath not an estate sufficient to answer that summ, then to suffer six months imprisonment, which latter part of ye penalty being in the disjunctive, the said Charles Arrabella in having been bored through the tongue and lain in prison six months (and more) has thereby fully suffered ye penalty of the Law for such his offence; it being as we presume a mistake in the petition when 'tis said that he was fined £20 and sentenced to remain six months in prison, so that his being kept in prison after the expiration of the said six months seems to be on account of the charges of prosecution, and of the maintaining him during his imprisonment. The premisses considered, if H.M. shall judge him a fit object of her royal compassion and shall be graciously pleased to order that he be released out of prison (whereby the foresaid charges of prosecution and of his maintenance while in prison will fall upon the County) we have nothing to object thereto. [C.O. 5, 721. No. 10; and 5, 727. pp. 211–215.]
Dec. 20.
Craven House.
562. Warrant from the Lords Proprietors of Carolina to the Receiver General of South Carolina, for the payment of £160 to John Griffith, Clothier, Execr. of James Griffith, for 4 years salary due to the said James Griffith as Secretary to our Board here in London. Signed, Craven, Palatin; Beaufort, Maurice Ashley, John Colleton, John Danson. [C.O. 5, 290. p. 5.]
Dec. 20.
Custome-house, London.
563. Mr. Popple. Encloses following in reply to Dec. 11–13th. But as to the bonds taken for the payment of the duties on prize goods at Jamaica, etc., there is no regular accompt here. Signed, Cha. Carkesse. Endorsed, Recd. Read Dec. 21st, 1710. Addressed. ¾ p. Enclosed,
563. i. Account of prize goods imported into the Port of London from Jamaica, Midsummer, 1708—Nov. 20, 1710. Total duties paid on same—£6972 11s. 6d. Signed, Wm. Waterson, Coll., E. Rumbold, Sr. G. Endorsed as preceding. 1½ pp.
563. ii. Account of prize goods imported into Bristoll from Jamaica, Michaelmas, 1708–1710. Duties on same, £11,678. Signed, Tho. Andrews, Horatio Mitchel, Geo. Richardson. Same endorsement. 1p. [C.O. 137, 9. Nos. 24, 24 i., ii.; and (without enclosures) 138, 13.pp. 308, 309.]