§ 1. GENERAL.
Many matters of high importance in the sphere of
Colonial administration occur in the ensuing pages.
The handling of the situation in the Leeward Islands
after the murder of Governor Parke; Col. Cary's rebellion
and the Indian rising in North Carolina; the deadlock
created in New Jersey by the opposition in the Council;
the intransigent attitude of the Assembly of New York
and the consequently contemplated action by Parliament;
these and other such questions would by themselves
render the year under review notable enough. They
are overshadowed, however, by two other events of
wider and more permanent significance; the failure
of the Expedition against Canada, and the preliminary
negotiations for Peace.
The Peace of Utrecht is one of the great landmarks
of European History. Few transactions of like moment
have given rise to controversy so bitter and so lasting.
Whatever may be the merits or demerits of the case for
entering upon that much debated Peace at that particular
moment, it can hardly be disputed that the two weakest
links in the vast and complicated chain of arrangements,
territorial and commercial, known as the Treaty of
Utrecht, were, from the point of view of the British
Empire, those concerned with the Newfoundland Fishery
and the French occupation of Cape Breton. "Against
these substantial gains," wrote Lord Morley in his
life of Walpole, after enumerating the advantages
obtained by England, "were undoubtedly to be set the
risks of some counterbalancing mischiefs. But the
mischiefs never came to pass." The documents published in this series will show very plainly, on the contrary,
that the mischiefs came to pass immediately, were the
cause of enormous strife, and continued down to our own
Immediately after the signing of the Treaty, its authors
were denounced as traitors to their country; and from
that time onwards the belief has been widely held that
the Cape Breton arrangement was the outcome of bribery.
(v. for example, Douglass' Summary, 1760, quoted by
Senator J. S. McLennan, Louisbourg from its foundation
That St. John gave more than he need have given,
and took less than he might have taken, can scarcely
be denied in view of the military position resulting from
Marlborough's victories before the fall of the Whigs.
But the suspicion that his concessions were bought is
not, I believe, supported by a shred of evidence, and a
document published in the present volume is to some
extent evidence to the contrary. It fitts in with what we
know of the negotiations for "Matt's Peace" as revealed
by Prior's correspondence with St. John, the recently
published Portland Papers, and De Torcy's accounts of
the matter. The document referred to is No. 365. It
demonstrates at least two things; first, that St. John
acted with his eyes open, and secondly, that in approaching the problem of whether or not he should concede to
the French "a general right to fish and to dry their fish
in the Sea of Newfoundland and on that coast, as they
have hitherto done, together with a liberty of settling
and fortifying on the Island of Cape Breton," he acted
openly and above-board. This was in April, 1712. It
was then a question of bargaining amongst the Plenipotentiaries at Utrecht. The quid pro quo offered was that
the French should make "an absolute cession of Nova
Scotia with Annapolis Royal, and of the Island of Newfoundland with Placentia." It was also suggested "that
all the fortifications in Newfoundland should be demolished, and that no others be suffered to be erected there,
or in any of the adjacent islands." St. John (No. 365)
asked for the opinion of the Board of Trade and
Plantations upon this bargain, and asked for it "as soon
as possible, it being necessary to write abroad upon this
subject at the end of the week." The answer he received
(No. 374) was a clear-sighted one, and can have left him
in no doubt as to the value of the concessions which were
eventually made. If the French retained the privilege
of fishering on the Newfoundland coast and drying on the
shore, they would have the same advantage in the trade
of dry fish as His Majesty's subjects, the Board of Trade
declared, "and the good end of our having New foundland
restored to us would be defeated." As to Cape Breton,
that Island had always been esteemed as part of Nova
Scotia, and, considering its situation, the permitting the
French to fortify and settle there would give them the
like advantages as if they were allowed to dry their fish
on Newfoundland or the adjacent islands. The Board of
Trade concluded by stating the boundaries of Nova
Scotia, "which ought to be so described for avoiding
future disputes," and representing that the fortifications
on Newfoundland ought to be maintained (No. 574).
The concessions which were eventually made were at
least an error of judgement. But the procedure indicated
above is hardly that which would have been pursued by
statesmen or Plenipotentiaries about to sell their country.
The negotiations for Peace with France, begun through
the agency of the Abbe Gualtier, had been continued by
Matthew Prior, an ex-Commissioner of Trade and
Plantations, on his secret mission to Fontainebleau in
July, 1711. Of the preliminary demands of the British
Government which Prior was then commissioned to
communicate to the French Court (P.R.O. Treaty Papers,
15), those which most nearly concerned the Colonies were
that the Asiento (the right of supplying the Spanish
Colonies with negro slaves) "should be entirely in the
hands of Great Britain; that Newfoundland should be
entirely given up to the English; that the trade of
Hudson's Bay should continue in the hands of the French
and English, as they are now; and that all things in
America should continue in the possession of those they
should be found to be in at the conclusion of the peace."
Concerning these provisions, attention should be drawn
regarding the first, that in Jamaica, where the Peace was
eagerly welcomed (421), there was a demand for the
recovery of the Asiento trade, which had previously
brought great prosperity to that Island (345). As to
the second, there was as yet no reference to fishing rights
one way or the other. As to the third, the claims of the
Hudson's Bay Company are not yet pressed. Although
the depredations committed by the French in those parts
had been stated by King William as one of the reasons
for the declaration of war, the Treaty of Ryswick had
left the Company worse off than they were before it.
Before the Plenipotentiaries met at Utrecht the Company
once more entered their claim, stating their case and
demanding not only reparation for damages but also
that the French should surrender all pretention to the
Streights and Bay and abandon their settlements there
(219 i.). They explained their demands in detail to the
Council of Trade (300), who reported in their favour
The last of St. John's "private propositions" involved
not only the retention of the French part of St. Christophers, and of Nova Scotia and Annapolis Royal, but also,
no doubt it was hoped, the retention of Canada, if the
expedition under General Hill should meet with the
expected success. The French, on the other hand, might
be supposed to look for some compensation if the expedition under Duguay-Trouin against Brazil should prove
successful. We once more catch a few glimpses of that
expedition in these pages (pp. 15, 48, 49).
From other quarters the acquisition of Moville; as well
as Montreal and Quebec, was enthusiastically urged
When Prior had brought De Torcy to the necessary
stage of agreement over these preliminary demands,
the scene of negotiations was transferred to London at
the end of July, and still with the utmost secrecy.
Peace Conference at Utrecht.
By the 17th September agreement had practically
been reached. The preliminaries were on the eve of
being signed, when the question of the Newfoundland
Fishery was again raised. In haste to conclude the
Peace, upon which all their hopes depended, Ministers
decided that the question should be referred to the
Congress, but they conceded to the French the right of
drying their fish. Thus a sore was left open, which was
to prove a source of trouble for two centuries. Before
the end of the year the hand of the Tory Peacemakers
was greatly strengthened by the publication of Swift's
Conduct of the Allies. In December Marlborough was
dismissed, and the creation of twelve peers gave to the
Ministry the majority required in the Upper Chamber.
In January the Plenipotentiaries met at Utrecht. The
Council of Trade and Plantations soon called attention
to the necessity of fixing the boundaries of Canada
(Feb., 1712. Nos. 326, 385). It was in April that St. John
consulted them about Cape Breton and the Newfoundland
Fishery (365, 373 i., 374), and a fortnight latter he conferred
with the Board upon the question of the New England
Fishery. having himself proposed the attendance of
Colonel Nicholson and the New England Merchants
interested therein (386). At this time also the whole
question of a Treaty of Commerce with France was
referred to and considered by the Board of Trade (v.
Journal, and Trade Books).
The Expedition against Canada and Newfoundland.
The advent of the projected expedition against Canada
and Newfoundland was hailed with loyal addresses of
welcome and gratitude from New York (47), New Jersey
(21), Connecticut (93 i.), New Hampshire (40), and
Massachusetts (45). The New Yorkers took the opportunity to complain of the burden of defence which they
had to bear and the cost of their contributation to the
abortive expedition of the preceding year. The quota
required of them, was, they maintained, excessive, and
they hinted at the superior lot of Proprietary Governments, whither "the little wealth this Plantation
possessed and the best and most industrious of its
inhabitants were being drained by the ease and indulgence
of those Governments" (48, 96). However, the quotas
of Colonial troops required for the advance by land upon
Montreal were agreed upon by the Congress of Governors
assembled at New London (71, 87 i., 95, 96, 97 iii.).
Pennsylvania, in the event, failed to contribute a man
(95); and Governor Hunter was obliged to complete the
New York contingent by enlisting Indians and some of
the German Protestant refugees. The Five Nations,
however, impressed by the sight of the Armada at Boston,
were induced to send 800 men. By the end of August
these troops were on their way to Albany, whence they
were to commence their march to Woodcreek, under
General Nicholson (46 i., 61 i., 95, 95 ii., 96).
The Expedition at Boston.
The Naval and Military forces under Admiral Sir
Hovenden Walker and Brigadier General Hill sailed
from Plymouth on the 4th of May and arrived at Boston
on 24th June. The incidents of the voyage are described
(46 i., 61). The troops were disembarked and encamped
on Nodles Island (45, 46 i.), whilst the necessary measures
were being taken for the assembling of the Colonial
contingents, selecting pilots, providing transport for the
troops by sea, boats for the land expedition, and transport
for the siege-train, as well as collecting fresh provisions
from the neighbourhood and salt pork from Maryland
and Virginia (46 i., 61, 94 i., 96).
The season was already late, and the arrival of Col.
Nicholson, who had been sent ahead from England to
prepare the several Governments, had been delayed
till June 8th by adverse weather. There had been little
time, therefore, for progress to be made with the necessary
preparations before the Expedition actually anchored
in Nantasket Bay (46, 61, 61 i., 96).
Meantime a French officer, M. La Ronde, had arrived
at Boston from Placentia with the ostensible object of
proposing a cartel for the exchange of prisoners. He
was detained by Governor Dudley in order that he
might not carry news of the preparations for the proposed
attack upon Canada and Newfoundland. The detention
of the French Agent was probably neither unforeseen
nor undesired. For he was apparently instructed to
make use of his opportunity to dissuade the Colonists
from supporting the Expedition. As to tidings of the
Expedition, both its objects and its strength were known
in France and conveyed to Placentia and Quebec (94 i.,
According to the accounts given by Governor Dudley,
not only was money voted readily and the quota promptly
supplied by Massachusetts, but everything possible
was done to secure an adequate quantity of provisions
at a reasonable price, and to obtain all the competent
and experienced pilots who could be found in the Province
(44 i.–x., 45 i.–x., 164, 164 i., 165, 167). It is evident,
however, (from the reports of General Hill and his Quarter
Master General, Col. King), that considerable friction
arose, and that great dissatisfaction was felt and shown
at the delays they experienced and at the attitude of
the Colonists both towards deserters and the provision
of supplies (46, 46 i., 61, 61 i.). No one, Col. King
declared, but a man of General Hill's good sense and
good nature could have overcome "the interestedness,
ill-nature and sourness of these people, whose Government,
doctrine and manners, whose hypocrisy and canting
are insupportable." There was nothing for it, he
concluded, but to resume their Charters to the Crown,
and so settle them all under one Government, "with
an entire liberty of conscience" (46). It was just the
fear of this result, he was finally led to suppose, which
could alone account for the reluctancy and ill-nature of
the people, whose object in delaying the Expedition could
only be explained by their dread lest the conquest of
Canada should lead to the establishment of one uniform
Government of America, for the real good of the Colonies
but to the loss of those who profited by their disorderly
disunion (p. 48).
But for the dilatoriness of the Government, the
Expedition might have sailed from Boston a fortnight
sooner than it did. "But all has been done with indolence and indifference with a thousand scruples and delays"
(46). Yet, notwithstanding losses from deserters, enticed
away by the Colonists, and the lateness of the season,
nothing, thought Col. King, but the difficulty of navigating the St. Lawrence or the arrival of a French force
from Europe, could prevent their success (46, p. 48).
He severely blamed Col. Nicholson, against whom he
displays considerable animus, for not forwarding the
transports with supplies for New York immediately upon
his arrival (46, 46 i., 61, 61 i.). There were delays in
delivering the fresh provisions required for the troops, and
a determined effort was made by the New England
merchants to exact an exorbitant price through the
exchange (61). It was only when continual pressure
had been put upon the Assembly that they were induced
to take measures to fulfil their promises of support and
their duty to their Queen. The details are given in the
Journal of the Expedition written by Col. King for
Brigadier General Hill (46 i., 61 i.), and the papers
sent by Governor Dudley (44 i.–x.)
The disaster in the St. Lawrence.
The Expedition sailed from Nantasket harbour on
July 30th, with high hopes of success (46 i., 61 i., 73, 87,
92). But a fatal blunder had already been committed.
The Colonial troops which accompanied General Hill
were placed under the command of Col. Vetch, the
original author of the scheme. After they had sailed,
and before the fatal event, he wrote to St. John the following ominous warning:— "The getting up (to Quebec)
by reason of the difficulty of the navigation I looke upon
to be the difficultest part of the enterprise, being myself
if not the only att least the best pilot upon the Expedition,
although none of my province" (71). Yet, in the face of
the well-known difficulty of navigating the St. Lawrence,
and of the shortage of good pilots, Admiral Sir Hovenden
Walker appears to have acted with almost incredible
improvidence. Capt. Cyprian Southack, Commander
of the Massachusetts Province galley, was well known as
one of the most experienced and competent sailors in
those parts. He had been particularly mentioned in
the Instructions as a suitable pilot for the Expedition
(164 i.). Yet, on the eve of sailing, he was dispatched
to Annapolis Royal to pick up some artillery stores and
marines from the Garrison there, which had already
been sent for once, but which the Deputy Governor,
Sir Charles Hobby, declared that he could not spare
(46 i., 61). Nor was this all. The Admiral had brought
with him from England a French pilot, whom Col.
Vetch, after some experience, took occasion to warn
him was both ignorant and a rogue (175, 175 i., ii., v.).
Vetch was at first invited to show the way to the Fleet
himself, with small vessels. But as he refused to go on
board the Saphire frigate for this purpose, he was
presently ignored. If that plan had been adhered to, he
declares, the disaster could not have happened. As it
was, he followed the Flag at a discreet distance, watching
her course with surprise and foreboding (175 v.). We
have several accounts of the catastrophe which ensued
(92, 92 i.–iii., 94, 94 i., ii., 98, 175 v.). For Fate, so
tempted, exacted the penalty to the full. On the night
of the 22nd of August in a stiff gale nine transports were
dashed to pieces on the north bank of the St. Lawrence,
and the whole Fleet was within an ace of being involved
in a similar fate among the shoals off the Isle aux Oeufs.
742 lives were lost, including 35 women. On the two
following days the shattered remains of twenty six companies were rescued from the shipwrecks. (92, 94 i., ii.).
On the 25th, three days after the disaster, a Council of
War was held. The General and the army officers were
apparently of opinion that they might still continue
the advance (175 ii., v.). But the naval officers, after
consulting a few of the pilots, unanimously resolved that
"by reason of the ignorance of the pilots and the uncertainty of the currents" it was impracticable to proceed
(92, 92 ii.). Col. Vetch protested, instancing the success
of Sir William Phips' Expedition, which had navigated
the river successfully at a much later season of the year,
without the aid of a single man who had ever been there
before. In response to a challenge, he expressed his
own willingness to point out the way to the Fleet
(175 v.). So dissatisfied was he with the pusillanimity
of the resolution to retreat, that upon returning to his
ship, he wrote a strong letter to the Admiral, begging
him to hold another Council of War and to reconsider
his decision, and urging that the navigation from that
point to Tadousac presented no further difficulty (175 ii.).
Sir Hovenden Walker ignored this suggestion, and there
was now nothing for it but to send an express to recall
Nicholson from his advance upon Montreal, and to retire
to Spanish River, where the Fleet cast anchor on Sept.
The Expedition abandoned.
There still remained the possibility of reducing Placentia. Another Council of War was held on the 8th to
consider whether the Instructions for an attack upon that
place on the return from Quebec could be put into
execution. A letter from the Governor of Placentia to
M. Pontchartrain was intercepted and brought in at
this juncture. It seemed to promise invaders a warm
reception. The Council of War unanimously decided
to abandon this design also, fear of bad weather combined
with a shortage of provisions being given as the
reasons. For, after the losses in the river, the
provisions remaining in hand were found to be only
sufficient for ten weeks on short allowance. But further
supplies were being collected in New England, and
three transports fully laden with salt provisions from
Virginia were expected to join the Fleet from New York
(92, 92 iii., 94 i., 175 v.). Together with their convoy,
H.M.S. Faversham, these transports were eventually lost
off Cape Breton, Oct. 7 (162). A detachment was sent
to Annapolis Royal, to strengthen and relieve the garrison
there; the remainder of the New England troops were
sent home; and the Expedition returned ingloriously to
England, Sept. 15th. Some of the troops intended for
Annapolis Royal found their way to Boston and were
there disbanded (92, 92 iii., 94 ii., 175, 175 iii., iv.). The
document 175 iii. is obviously wrongly dated August
for September. The evidence of the pilots was taken and
sent home (165).
Addresses for its renewal.
The ill effects from the failure of the Expedition
anticipated by Col. King (94) and Governor Dudley
(165), were soon apparent. There was an outbreak of
raids upon the frontiers of New England, New York
and Nova Scotia (162, 175, 229, 296). It was feared,
too, that the loyalty of the Five Nations had been
shaken (296). Addresses for the renewal of the Expedition were forwarded from New York (162), Massachusetts
Bay (123), and New Hampshire (147), with the hope that
they would not again be required to supply a contingent.
Grant of stores of war and payment of bills.
The bills for the expences of the Expedition were
paid with remarkable promptitude. Lord Dartmouth,
in announcing the decision of the Treasury, expressed
the hope that such punctuality would be an encouragement to everybody to show their zeal for the good of
their country. At the same time the small arms and
ammunition which had been designed for the Expedition
were presented to the Governments of New England and
New York, and Lord Dartmouth communicated this
"mark of H.M. concern for her subjects in the Plantations" to the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia (308–311).
Frequent and urgent demands for supplies of stores of
war for the Plantations had given rise to some discussion
The Board of Ordnance, in response to an enquiry
about the demand of arms and stores for the Leeward
Islands, represented that they had no grant from Parliament to enable them to satisfy it. If the Islands could
no longer pay for their own arms, then, the Board
suggested, they ought to apply direct to Parliament
(63, 69, 194, 194 i., ii.). The Council of Trade thereupon
made a representation, recommending that an annual
sum should be voted for providing stores for the defence
of the Plantations (313). Virginia, threatened with an
Indian war, was practically destitute of ammunition
(204, p. 113). But when the request for arms and
ammunition for that Colony came to be considered (382 i.,
383, 387), it was objected that there had been grave
abuses in connection with the distribution of such stores,
and that it was "a common practice to sell arms etc.
to those very Indians against whom they were intended
to be employed." The Council of Trade were asked
to consider, therefore, what steps could be taken to prevent such frauds (387, cf. 120). In reply they pointed
out that by the Act of 1684 every Virginian Militiaman
was obliged to provide himself with arms, and also that
when arms were sent from England in 1702 directions
were given that they should be paid for. This had not
been done. It was suggested that, if arms were now
sent to supply the urgent need of the Dominion, they
should only be delivered to such persons as should pay
for the same, and also that the Militia Act should be put
in force (417).
The Navy in the West Indies.; Friction between Governors and Naval Commanders.
Apart from trouble arising from the protection of
deserters from the Navy, and the difficulty of replacing
them, to which frequent reference is made in the accounts
of the Canada Expedition, there is evidence of considerable
friction between Governors of Plantations and some
of the Commanders of the Naval ships detailed to act as
guardships in the West Indies. Thus Capt. Norbury
in the Leeward Islands, when requested to take home for
trial some officers concerned in the rising against Parke,
objected that he was not under the command of the
Governor (63, 81, cf. 120). The Governor of Barbados
reported that the great losses of the shipping off the
coasts of that Island from enemy privateers were largely
due to the "little regard the men of war paid to the
orders" of the late President (77). Capt. Constable
presently refused to send a ship to England with French
prisoners whom the Government wished to convey there,
(318, 318 viii., 378 xii.). He also refused to convey the
merchant fleet upon the General's orders (318, 318 viii.,
378 xii., 434, 434 i., iii.). By their Instructions Governors
were directed not to exercise any authority over the
Captains of the men of war, unless they had a commission from the Admiralty so to do (63, 77, 434).
Trading by ships of war.
Another grievance was set forth in a petition by the
leading merchants of New York, who complained that
the trade and navigation of that city was much diminished
by the men of war which, in cruizing to and from the
West Indies, carried cargoes of merchandize and entered
into unfair competition with ordinary traders and
shippers (433 i.). The Council of Trade represented
that this was a dishonourable practice which ought to
be strictly forbidden (438).
Capture of Spanish Galleons.; Spanish prisoners detained for exchange with English at Lima.
The Naval Squadron under Commodore Littleton,
stationed at Jamaica, was constantly on the watch
for an opportunity to pounce on the Spanish galleons
which were reported to be ready to sail from Cartagena.
It was also hoped to intercept the French Squadron
under M. Ducasse, which had been sent to convey them
(18, 25). Littleton was partly successful. For he
captured some of the galleons, and with them a Spanish
Vice-Admiral. But Ducasse, with the plate, eluded
him (37, 75, 76, 82). The prizes were therefore not so
rich as had been expected. The Spanish Admiral had
been killed, but the Vice-Admiral was captured. He
with the other prisoners was detained by the Governor of
Jamaica in order to secure the release of the English
prisoners at Lima (25, 76, 83). The Governor of the
Spanish coast of St. Domingo, who was captured shortly
afterwards by a Jamaican privateer, was similarly
detained (125, 267).
French ships captured.; Exchange of prisoners refused.
Besides many prizes taken by privateers on either
side (18, 77 i., 82, 94 i., 186, 378 xi., 335 i., 418, etc.),
Windsor and Weymouth captured the French man of
war Thetis and two rich merchantmen in July, 1711,
after a sharp fight (18, 28). In May, 1712, the guardships
of Virginia and Barbados acting in concert made a rich
haul, taking twelve out of a fleet of seventeen sail of
French merchantmen with stores and ammunition bound
for Martinique, whilst Enterprize captured the man
of war which was convoying them (319, 418). Cartels
for the exchange of prisoners were proposed to several
Governments by the French. They were generally
refused on the grounds that such interchanges gave
opportunities both for spying and illegal trade, whilst,
in the case of those returned to Martinique, where, the
Governor of Barbados declared, the people lived entirely
by piracy and privateering, such returned prisoners
were back at their trade on the English coasts within a
week (77). We have seen that the officer sent from
Placentia to Boston, ostensibly to propose a cartel, seems
to have been sent really as a spy and French agent to
dissuade the Colonists from supporting the Expedition
St. John's proposal for uniformity of Government.
A very remarkable passage occurs in a letter from the
Governor of New York. In reply to some enquiries by
St. John, who had asked for his views upon the state of
affairs in the Plantations, Col. Hunter declared outright
that the "British interest in these parts … is in a bad
state, of which the frequent tumult in all parts, and the
general aversion to the support of Government in most,
are sufficient indications." St. John had hinted at the
desirability of putting all North America under one
uniform scheme of Government (it will be remembered
that it was the fear lest the conquest of Canada would
lead inevitably to a uniform Government throughout
America which, in the opinion of Col. King, prompted
New Englanders to attempt to prevent it (p. xi.). Such
a consummation as St. John proposed would, Col.
Hunter agreed, be a sure remedy, but unfortunately it
must be a slow one, and more urgent measures were
necessary. In the Proprietary Governments, the Councils
were a mere cipher, having no share in the Legislature,
and the Governors, being dependent for their daily bread
upon the goodwill of the Assemblies, had been obliged
to make such concessions, that the Crown would pay dear
for much trouble and no dominion if they were purchased
and continued upon the present footing. The neighbourhood of Colonies in which the Assemblies were almost
all-powerful stirred the ambition of those which were
under the more immediate Government of the Crown.
They took the "Connecticut scheme" as their model,
and by starving their Governors, refusing adequate
supplies, and endeavouring to restrict the powers of the
Councils, were aiming at establishing themselves on the
same basis as those Chartered and Proprietary Governments which, they conceived, were better off than themselves. They had but one short step to take then
towards complete independance. Hunter concludes:—"A greater assertor of Liberty, one at least that understood it better than any of them, has said, that as
Nationall or Independant Empire is to be exercised by
them that have ye proper ballance of Dominion in the
Nation, soe Provinciall or Dependant Empire is not to
be exercised by them that have the ballance of dominion
in the province, because that would bring the Government from Provinciall and Dependant to Nationall
and Independant. Which is a reflection that deserves
some consideration for the sake of another from ye same
person to wit, that ye Colonies were infants, sucking their
mother's breasts, but such as if he was not mistaken,
would weane themselves when they came of age." (pp.
103, 104, No. 250). (fn. 1)
Hunter, of course, in writing thus was thinking more
particularly of New York and New Jersey, where he was
in the thick of a critical constitutional struggle.
Elsewhere, as for instance in Carolina, the evil effects
of the chaos and confusion resulting from incompetent
Proprietary government were sufficiently evident to
the inhabitants to render them anxious to exchange
such chartered freedom for the greater security of the
neighbouring Dominion of Virginia (p. 221). But, in
general, the same motives may be assumed to underly
the same manoeuvres, which were being executed by the
Assemblies in other Governments, not only on the
Continent, but also in Barbados, Jamaica and the Leeward
Islands. The records printed in this Calendar demonstrate that the progress of political ideas, whether
inspired by the writings of Sir Harry Vane or another,
marched with equal steps in America and the West Indies.
Reaction of political ideas and events.; Cornbury and the German Protestant Refugees.
The reaction of the Colonies to political developments
at Home was also remarkably close and immediate.
Attention has been called to this phenomenon in the
Preface to the previous volume. In the present one we
have fresh instances of it. The sudden change of the
Ministry induced the Assembly of New Jersey, according
to Dr. Coxe (pp. 9, 10), to withdraw an address which they
had prepared representing their grievances against the
late Governor, Lord Cornbury. Cornbury himself, now
third Earl of Clarendon, entered once more into the arena
of Colonial affairs. He was given office in the new Tory
Ministry as First Commissioner of the Admiralty, and
was invited by Harley, the Lord High Treasurer, to
report upon Governor Hunter's estimate of the sum
required for the subsistence of the German Protestant
Refugees whom he had settled in New York. Hunter
had suggested that £15,000 a year for two years would
be needed before the Palatines could make their own
living by manufacturing naval stores. Cornbury, of
course, seized the opportunity to torpedo the whole
scheme and to embarrass his successor. To continue
their subsistence for two years would, he suggested,
merely encourage the Palatines in laziness and enrich
Livingston. He also threw doubt upon Hunter's boasted
economy (193, 193 i.). The replies made on Hunter's
behalf, together with his accounts, enabled the Council
of Trade to urge the continuance of the scheme upon the
basis he had proposed. Hunter had pledged his own
credit deeply in order to carry on the settlement of the
Palatines in accordance with the Instructions he had
received. He was as good and honest a Governor as
Cornbury had been a bad and corrupt one. But Hunter
was a Whig, and Cornbury apparently had the ear of the
Tory Minister (206, 210, 290).
The Board of Trade.
We have now reached the beginning of a period
when enormous delays are revealed in dealing with the
dispatches of Colonial Governors by the Council of Trade
and Plantations. The reasons for such delays were, it
may be suggested, twofold. In the first place, the
elaborate and intricate commercial questions which arose
in the course of the negotiations for the Treaty of Utrecht
were usually referred to the Board of Trade. The whole
case for a Commercial Treaty with France was explored
by them during the months now under review (v.
Board of Trade Journal). The solution of these problems
involved the Commissioners and their small staff in an
immense amount of urgent business, to which the volumes
of the Colonial Office Records relating to Trade matters
at this period, now preserved at the Public Record Office,
bear most ample and interesting testimony. Plantation
business was therefore necessarily postponed. A second
cause will presently begin to operate. This was the
uncertainty of the political issue. For before long, when
Bolingbroke was manoeuvring towards a Legitimist
restoration, the substitution of "honest" men for those
of Hanoverian principles began. It was not only in
the army that officers of the "right" principles were
appointed by the Tories to military posts of importance
on the eve of the coup d' état which they never struck,
but a similar substitution also began, or was prepared, in
the case of Colonial Governorships, and civil servants, of
the Commissioners of Trade and their capable and longtrusted Secretary, William Popple. The effect of such
uncertainty of status would naturally be paralysing.
Case of David Creagh and witnesses sent home.
A case in point is a letter written by Lord Archibald
Hamilton, Governor of Jamaica, in which reference was
made to the case of one David Creagh. Merchant
and supercargo of a sloop from Barbados he had been
committed on a charge of High Treason for trading with
the Queen's enemies, and sent to England for trial.
The witnesses against him were not sent home at the
same time owing to an oversight on the part of the
Commodore of the Jamaica Squadron who carried them
off with him on a cruize (423, 423 vi.). This letter was
not read at the Board of Trade till twelve months after
its receipt, a delay which led to some confusion.
In the course of correspondence with the Treasury,
the Secretary of the Board states that, in spite of frequent
reminders, Governors of Plantations on the Continent
had wholly failed to make returns to the Council of
Trade of the public revenue and expenditure. They
had, he declared, received "only some few from Jamaica."
This was certainly an over-statement of the case. He
refers for further information to the Auditor General,
William Blathwayt. Students of Colonial History wish
that they could follow his advice. But what has become
of the papers of that industrious official ? (84, 99).
Replies to instructions demanded; Acts of Parliament to be published.
A circular letter was presently dispatched to Governors,
requiring their observance of the Article requiring them
to render half-yearly accounts, as well as other articles
of their Instructions which they had omitted to fulfil
(132–142). At the same time copies of two recent Acts
of Parliament affecting the Colonies were forwarded for
publication,—the Act for the encouragement of trade to
America, and the Act for the preservation of white and
Salary of the Board in arrears; New Commission.
The salary of the Commissioners was two and a half
years in arrears by Lady Day, 1712 (159, 367). The
Board suggested that a lump sum of £400 should be paid
to their Secretary annually for defraying the incidental
expenses of the office, apart from postage (217), but
this suggestion was not adopted in the new Commission
Delay in transmitting Acts.
The Attorney General drew attention to the delay
which sometimes occurred in transmitting for confirmation Acts passed in the Plantations (390). In the
event of repeal, such delay was bound to cause unnecessary trouble (394).
§ 2. THE AMERICAN COLONIES.
North Carolina. Col. Cary's rebellion.
Whilst Edward Hyde was being duly appointed and
approved at home as Lt. Governor of North Carolina,
(13, 57), he was engaged, through no fault of his own, in
a serious struggle with Col. Cary and the Quaker party,
who broke out into open and armed rebellion against
his authority and that of his Council and Assembly.
We have here accounts of the matter from the Council,
the Assembly, Hyde himself and Col. Spotswood, Lt.
Governor of Virginia (42, 42 iv., 78, 78 i.). From these
we gather that Col. Tynte, Governor of Carolina, having
died before he had given Hyde his commission as Lt.
Governor of North Carolina, the latter, on his arrival in
the country, found himself without proper credentials.
He was able, however, to demonstrate that the Lords
Proprietors intended him for Lt. Governor, and he was
accordingly unanimously invited to administer the
country as President of the Council until his commission
should arrive. Col. Cary had himself joined in this
invitation. But he presently proceeded to obstruct the
Government, protesting that Hyde had exceeded his
powers in summoning an Assembly, which he probably
perceived to be inimical to himself. The Assembly
thereupon ordered him and some of his chief supporters
into custody, and passed some Acts directed against him,
in retaliation for his previous misdemeanours. In this
Col. Spotswood thought they showed themselves both
vindictive and indiscreet. Cary soon escaped from
prison and, defying the authority of the Assembly,
raised a revolt. First he fortified his house and shut
himself up in it. Then, finding that the Government
was powerless to capture him, he passed to the offensive.
Fitting out a brigantine and some other vessels, he
declared himself President, and sailed to attack Hyde
and his Council. Hyde thereupon appealed to Virginia for
help. Col. Spotswood at first endeavoured to mediate
between the two rival factions. But Cary insisted upon
an appeal to arms. Moreover, he and his supporters
endeavoured to incite the Tuscarora Indians to rise and
massacre their opponents. Failing in his attempt to
seize Hyde and his Council, Cary withdrew into the
recesses of the country, where it was not practicable for
the Virginian militia to pursue them. For Spotswood had
raised his militia when Cary and his Quaker supporters
had rejected his attempts at mediation. The Commodore
of the convoy of the Virginian trade fleet had refused
to help him with men and boats, "judging it the least
part of his duty to do any service to this country." But
Spotswood dispatched some marines from the guardships
to Carolina. Upon their appearance, the leaders of the
rebellion disperded. Cary and some others fled to
Virginia. There they were apprehended by order of
Col. Spotswood, and sent to England for trial (55, 60,
78, 78 i.).
Massacre by Tuscarora Indians.; Emigration to Virginia.; Lords Proprietors' directions.; Campaign against the Tuscaroras.
The troubles of North Carolina were not, however, at
an end. Unsettled by the intrigues of Cary and his
supporters, and emboldened by the evident weakness
and division of the country, a party of Tuscarora Indians
rose and massacred the inhabitants of the frontier
plantations, "killing without distinction of age or sex
about sixty English and upwards of that number of
Swiss and Palatines, besides a great many left dangerously
wounded," and burning the plantations. Even in the
face of this deadly meance, Hyde was unable to rouse
the province to make a united resistance. Col. Spotswood,
however, fully aware of the danger lest the conflagration
should spread over the borders of Virginia, called out
his Militia, and summoned to a conference both those
Tuscarora Indians who had remained loyal and the
other tributary and bordering tribes. He at once put
a stop to all trade with the Indians, "finding they were
better provided with ammunition than ourselves," and
demanded the release of the Baron de Graffenried, the
head of the Swiss and Palatine settlement, who had been
taken prisoner by the raiders and was being reserved
"to be tomahawked and tortured at their first public
war dances" (120). In this he was successful (177).
Graffenried was released after being obliged to conclude
an agreement of neutrality with the Indians, on behalf
of his Palatines, seeing that he could rely upon no help
from the distracted people of North Carolina. Such,
indeed, was the condition of the country that both he
and other settlers were anxious to migrate to Virginia
(301, 408). In these circumstances Col. Spotswood urged
the necessity of orders being sent from home directing
Virginia, Maryland and Carolina to assist each other in
case of either being attacked (p. 222). The Lords
Proprietors wrote to the Council and Assembly recommending the Lieutenant Governor and urging the passing
of a Militia Act. They required the quit-rents to be
paid in silver, and whilst commending to their care the
establishment of the Church, promised to contribute
£200 towards the building of a church (306). They
also expressed their thanks to Col. Spotswood (339).
More effective aid was rendered by the Government
of South Carolina. At the beginning of 1712 a body of
700 Indians under British officers was sent to the aid of
the Northern Province. Their first attack upon the
Tuscaroras met with success, but this was followed by a
check. The preliminary success encouraged the people
of North Carolina to elect a new Assembly and raise a
fund for carrying on the war. But they could not
enlist a sufficient force. For the Quakers who had
fought against Hyde's Government would not carry arms
against the Indians. Another appeal for aid was made
to Virginia. It was readily granted. For there seemed
good reason to believe that the whole Tuscarora nation
was in sympathy with the outbreak. The conditions
to which they had agreed at their Conference with
Spotswood had not been fulfilled; evidence had come to
light that they were endeavouring to induce the tributary
Indians to join them; and the repulse of the force sent
from South Carolina had excited their warriors' ardour.
It was recognised that to send Virginian troops to Carolina
was a prudent measure of defence for their own frontiers.
The Council of North Carolina, however, refused to
undertake any responsibility for the payment of the
Virginian troops or for furnishing them with provisions.
Before they were ready, and without the knowledge of
Lt. Governor Hyde, the Commander of the troops from
South Carolina made a hasty peace with the Indians
"upon very unaccountable conditions, at a time when he
had reduced one of their most considerable forts to the
last extremity." With such an object lesson of the weakness and disunion of the Carolinans, it was not thought
likely that the Tuscaroras would be content for long to
keep the peace so hastily made (408). (See also under
Maryland. Need of a Governor. Report upon Lord Baltimore's petition.
The Governorship of Maryland still remained vacant.
Lord Baltimore had petitioned that he might now be
allowed to exercise again the Proprietor's right of
appointing a Governor. The Attorney General and Council of Trade, however, reported that the circumstances
which had rendered the appointment of the Governor by
the Crown necessary and desirable still obtained, and
were likely to do so at least so long as the war lasted
(38 i., 50). Complaints came to hand as to the administration of the law by the Roman Catholic party. The
need of a Governor was emphasised (101, 101 ii., 314).
The Council of Trade, in a further representation, made
a suggestion of their own for filling the vacant Governorship (349). But their suggestion was ignored.
New England; Massachusetts Bay statistics.; Paper money.; Church taxes.
Preparations for the Expedition against Canada,
dealt with above, form the greater part of the public
business transacted in New England. The replies which
Dudley sent home in response to the enquiries of the
Board of Trade into the administration of New England,
contain a good deal of statistical information (135, 375,
375 i.). A list of causes tried in Massachusetts Bay is
given (230 viii.–xvii.). Issues of paper money had now
resulted in driving out of circulation all coin, foreign or
other, in accordance with the well known monetary law
(167). A considerable amount of heat was engendered
by the laying of a tax upon the inhabitants for building
a new meeting house at Newbury and the maintenance
of Ministers, whilst several of the inhabitants and
freeholders of that town, some of whom had recently
become members of the Established Church and had
begun to erect a church for themselves at their own
cost, were ordered by the Assembly to desist. Mr.
Bridger, the Surveryor General of Woods, took up their
cause, and an appeal was made to Lord Dartmouth (291,
Waste of woods.; New Acts of Parliament.
Bridger found himself powerless to prevent the waste
of the Crown woods by the contractor to the Navy as
well as by the inhabitants (85, 163, 292.) Hopes, however, were entertained of the new Act for the preservation of white and other pine trees, the publication of
which was specially ordered, together with the Act for
the encouragement of the trade to America (132 ff., 142,
Mining Company's Prospectus.
A prospectus was issued by the Society of Mines for
the development of iron and steel works in New England
and of copper works in Connecticut, with a pamphlet
directed against the "base and scandalous stockjobbing"
of an "upstart Company of Mine-Adventurers" (439
Governor Hunter's Conference with Five Nations.
Governor Hunter found his hands full with the affairs
of New York and New Jersey (95). His instructions
for the preparations for the Canada Expedition reached
him as he was returning from a Conference with the Five
Nations at Albany. This Conference followed upon Col.
Schuyler's mission to counteract the French influence
at Onondage. The Five Nations renewed the Covenant
and presently contributed about 800 warriors to the
Expedition (96, 95 ii., 97 iv.).
Raids by enemy Indians, who traded at Albany.
The failure of the Expedition had its natural repercussion in an outbreak of frontier raids. There is evidence
that these raids were sometimes combined with the
trading at Albany which New York merchants carried on with enemy Indians (162, 401).
Presents etc. to the Five Nations.
Following upon resolutions by the Society for the
Propagation of the Gospel, orders were given for making
presents to the Five Nations, the dispatch of a Missionary
and interpreter, the settling of a garrison in the new
fort, and the furnishing of the Chapels, etc. (359, 361).
Hunter's struggle with the Assembly.
Hunter carried on his struggle with the Assembly
of New York throughout the year. He was at length
compelled to declare that it was hopeless, and that
nothing but strong measures by Parliament could save
the situation. A new Assembly came back on the
popular cry of economy almost identical with the old.
It could not therefore be expected that it would prove
any readier than the last to make adequate provision
for the support of the Government (p. 97).
The Representatives soon showed, indeed, that they
would not abate one jot of their pretensions. They
maintained their attitude of denying to the Council the
right to make any amendment to a money bill, and in
order not to lose their vote for the Canada Expedition,
Hunter was obliged to resort to a subterfuge by which
to secure a necessary amendment. "They will be a
Parliament," he comments (pp. 97, 100). In a letter
written to St. John in Sept., 1711, to which we have already
referred (§ 1), he warns him that unless some speedy and
effectual remedy is applied, "the disease may prove too
strong for the cure." For the Assembly was already
claiming all and more than all the powers and privileges
of the House of Commons, and, should the Council
follow suit and claim the rights of a House of Peers,
there would then be established a body politic independent
of the Great Council of the realm. To keep them within
bounds, whilst the Revenue bill was being passed through
Parliament, he urged that they should be reminded by a
royal letter that they held their privileges by favour from
the Crown and only so long as they used them for the
Queen's interest and the support of her Government
(pp. 103, 104, No. 162). A few months later (Jan. 1st,
1712) he again wrote both to St. John and Dartmouth,
as strongly as it was possible to write, appealing to them
to remedy the desperate condition of the Queen's Government in that Colony. He had done everything in his
power, but the mask was now thrown off. The Assembly
was deliberately challenging the position of the Council
and the powers granted by Royal letters patent. "They
have but one short step to make toward what I am
unwilling to name." Officers of the Government were
being starved and treated as enemies, and the expenses
of the administration were defrayed by the Governor's
credit alone (250, 252). The details of the situation are
given in his letter to the Council of Trade of the same date,
and in an Address by the Council complaining of the
proceedings of the Assembly (251, 251 i., 389).
Hunter supported at home.
The Council of Trade gave Hunter their full approval
and support. Writing in Nov., 1711, they informed him
that, upon their representation, a bill had been ordered to
be brought into Parliament for settling a Revenue for the
support of the Government in New York. It was probably
merely intended as a threat, and Parliament rose before
it could be proceeded with. But in view of the continued obstinacy of the Assembly, the Board of Trade
recommended the re-introduction of the bill (169, 170).
At the same time they confirmed Hunter in his attitude
concerning amendments to money bills and the disposal
of stores at Albany. They directed him to remind the
Assembly that they sat merely by virtue of the Queen's
Commission to himself (169). Upon receipt of Hunter's
abovementioned letters in April, they repeated their
recommendation that Parliament should make provision
for a revenue at New York, and supported the Governor's
suggestion that the Queen should signify her disapproval
of the undutiful proceedings of the Assembly. "If the
Assembly of New York is suffered to proceed after
this manner" they added "it may prove of very
dangerous consequence to that Province, and of very ill
example to H.M. other Governments in America, who are
already but too much inclined to assume pretended rights
tending to an independency on the Crown" (250, 251,
389). They also wrote again to Hunter repeating their
strictures upon the Assembly's infringements of the
Royal Prerogative, and warning them that proper
remedies would be applied unless his next letters brought
news of their having changed their behaviour (444).
It is evident that great reluctance was felt in using the
extreme measure of Parliamentary authority. But such
warning and forbearance had so far but little effect.
In June Hunter reported that he had been obliged to
accept a quite inadequate Act for the support of the
Government, whilst the Assembly made it clear that they
were ready enough to relieve the intolerable difficulty of
his personal position, if only he would concede to them the
Royal Prerogative of appointing and paying officers (454).
Objection to the Census.
In collecting statistics for replies to the queries of
the Board of Trade (454, 454 i.–viii.), Hunter encountered
an objection to the Census, "the people being deterred
by a simple superstition and observation, that the
sickness followed upon the last numbering of the people"
No registers kept.
Analogous instances of this superstition based on the
same fear of the "sin of David," have been collected
by Sir James Frazer (Folk Lore in the Old Testament,
Pt. III., Ch. V.). Hunter hoped, however, to complete
his census, having devised a new method of securing
returns (p. 301). As to births and burials, no registers
had ever been kept, nor could they be, until the counties
were divided into parishes. Great numbers remained
unchristened for want of Ministers (454).
A negro conspiracy Hunter's humanity.; Invalid soldiers.
A murderous outbreak by some negroes, who sought
revenge for cruel usage, caused something of a panic at
New York. Those conspirators who were seized were
brought to trial before the Justices under an Act for
dealing with such emergencies. Exemplary but savage
punishment was inflicted on those found guilty. More,
indeed, were executed than were known to have taken an
active part in the insurrection. Hunter endeavoured
to moderate the vengeance of the Colonists and reprieved
some of the prisoners (454). He also found time to
champion the cause of the invalid regular soldiers in the
Independent Companies at New York. They amounted
by this time to a quarter of the whole strength of the
establishment. Upon his representations it was arranged
that they should become out-pensioners of Chelsea
Hospital (96, 231).
The settlement of German Protestant Refugees.
In the autumn of 1711 Hunter was able to report that,
after his quelling of the mutiny, the German Protestant
Refugees were settling down to work, and that they were
now well on the way to produce Naval Stores. Some of
them, as we have seen, were drafted for the Canada
Expedition (95, 96). The question of their subsistence
was, however, causing the Governor great anxiety (v. § 1).
Shipbuilding at New York.; Complaints against the Clergy.
Other matters referred to in Governor Hunter's correspondence are Col. Heathcote's proposal for shipbuilding
at New York (335, 335 ii.), and complaints against the
factious behaviour of some of the clergy of the Province
New Jersey. Opposition of the Council.
In New Jersey the position was the reverse of that
in New York. Here the Assembly and the Quakers
supported the Governor, whilst half the Council were
bitterly opposed to him and them. A long letter from
one of the opposing Councillors, whom we may
presume to have been Daniel Coxe, gives their point of
view, that of the Anglican or Jacobite party and supporters of Cornbury (14 i. cf., 436, 443, 449). News of
the change of Ministry at home, it is said, led the Assembly
to suppress a representation they had drawn up against
Cornbury's administration and those Councillors who
had supported him (p. 10). But they took measures
against those who had championed Cornbury and his
administration, expelling two members, who were, however, again returned by the counties for which they sat.
The Assembly refused to allow them to take their seats.
They passed and sent up several bills which the obstructive Councillors promptly rejected, being especially
horrified by a bill to qualify Quakers for serving on all
juries and holding office, and another to make the
English bankruptcy laws current in the Colony (14 i).
A petition against the former bill and the activities of
the Quakers as enemies of Church and State was presented
to the Queen (58 i.). Another grievance of the Councillors
was that they were governed from New York, and by
officers who resided in that Province, whilst of those who
resided in New Jersey "all the North Brittains that can
be found, though never so scandalous, are preferred, and
next to them the Quakers" (p. 11). This complaint
was an echo of Mr. Sonmans' indecent demonstration at
the Middlesex election, when he had declared against a
North Britain Government (p. 6). It was, of course,
an attack upon Hunter. The Governor, meanwhile,
had come to the conclusion that the experiment of
appointing an equal number of representatives of both
parties to the Council had proved a disastrous failure.
The six obstructive Councillors were determined to stir
up strife and interfere with the administration of Justice.
One of them had now started an agitation against
the payment of taxes (249, 249 i.). Nothing was required
to secure the peace and goodwill of the Province but the
removal of these Councillors from office. That done,
he could promise an entire settlement of the country.
Till that was done, everything was in suspense (249).
Hunter's reading of the situation was confirmed by
the Proprietors of New Jersey in London, who referred to
their former representations to the same effect, and
submitted the names of more desirable Councillors (156,
156 i., 413).
When Col. Vetch left Annapolis Royal to take up
his command of the Colonial troops on the Canada
Expedition, he appointed Sir Charles Hobby to be Deputy
Governor in his absence (71). The French Indians had
made an attempt upon the fort after their successful
ambush, but without effect. Vetch reported (July,
1711) that the place was safe, and some troops and stores
could be spared from the garrison (46 i., 61). These were
requisitioned by General Hill. Sir Charles' refusal has been
referred to above (§ 1). Lively fears were entertained
as to the effect of the failure of the Canadian enterprise.
It was expected that an attempt would be made by the
French to recover Nova Scotia (175, 247), and intercepted
letters seemed to point to a possible attack upon Annapolis
Royal by sea (92, 94 i.). In these circumstances dispositions were made both by orders from home for the protection of the place (247), and by Governor Vetch and
General Hill to strengthen the garrison. A detachment
of New England troops and a company of Mohawks
were ordered to their relief. Stores and an engineer
were also sent there, and, for the sake of discipline, Major
Caulfield was appointed Lt. Governor (92, 175, 175 iii.,
iv., 253). At the end of the year he reported that the
place had by then been rendered strong enough to resist
any force that could be brought against it, and that the
inhabitants, who had suffered some hardships, were
well satisfied since the publication of the Royal Proclamation (62, 92, 208, 457).
References are made by both sides to the severe
treatment which had been meted out to the French
inhabitants (46, 46 i., 94 ii., 208). Governor Vetch is
blamed for this by Capt. Vane, the Engineer (403),
who also charges him with trading on his own account
to the detriment of the inhabitants, the garrison and the
Treasury alike. Vetch, on the other hand, had good
grounds of complaint, and was subjected to strong
temptation (402). It often happened at this period that
Governors were ordered to undertake certain enterprises,
involving more or less heavy outlay, without any care
being taken to provide for their financial necessities. So
Vetch at Annapolis Royal found himself without means or
salary, and the bills he had drawn for the provision of the
garrison were not accepted at the Treasury (84, 304,
452, p. 165).
Col. Vetch sent in a report upon the resources of the
country and the measures which he deemed necessary
for its development (192).
Pennsylvania. Penn's surrender.
The Attorney General reported upon William Penn's
proposed surrender of his Government (331). The
question of the amount of compensation to which he
would be entitled produced an account of the Revenue
of the Province (298, 298 i).
Affirmation Act repealed.
The affirmation Act, which enabled Quakers to give
evidence in criminal cases, and against which protest was
entered from New Jersey, was repealed (58 i., 203, 221).
Virginia. The Assembly.
In Virginia, Lt. Governor Spotswood found the
Assembly recalcitrant. They renewed their quarrel with
the Council and still refused to provide for the payment
of the public debts, although they approved of the
services for which they had been incurred. They were
ready, indeed, to raise money by imposing a duty upon
British manufactures, but this could not be admitted
(301, 408). But as to laying a tax upon the country, the
received opinion of the populace was that "he is the
best patriot who most violently opposes the raising any
money, let the occasion be what it will," and upon this
cry at the elections members calculated to retain their
seats (301). Spotswood therefore dissolved the Assembly
on Jan. 31st. No provision had been made for carrying
out the terms of the Treaty with the Tuscaroras, and the
Government was left without any fund wherewith to meet
any emergency that might well arise in the unsettled
condition of the frontier (301, 408). Spotswood declared
that there was no personal difference between himself
and the Burgesses or the country. He expected a
reaction against the parsimonious policy of the late
Assembly, but determined to await sure signs of it
before holding another election (301).
Virginia and the Indian War.; Quakers and Conscientious objectors.
Upon hearing news of the massacre in North Carolina,
(cf. See p. xxiii.), in which some at least of the Tuscarora
Indians were involved, Spotswood at once put a stop to
the Indian trade, mobilised the Virginian militia, and
summoned the Tuscaroras and the neighbouring Indians
to a conference. Impressed by the appearance of the
Militia, the Sachems expressed their desire for peace and
their concern that any of their tribe should have taken
part in the massacre. Spotswood suggested that they
should take a share in the punishment of the assassins,
offering them rewards for so doing, and he obtained the
release of Baron de Graffenried. He also demanded that
two children of the chiefs of each town should be sent
to be educated in Virginia and held as hostages for their
good behaviour. This scheme he welcomed as a step
towards the conversion of the Indians to Christianity.
At the same time, by offering to remit their tribute, he
induced some of the Chiefs of the tributary Indians to
send their sons to be educated at the College, hoping that
the Assembly would supplement the fund left by Mr.
Boyle for that purpose, (177). Several of the Council
agreed to advance the money which the Assembly refused
to supply for making good the treaty with the Tuscaroras.
But the situation remained very anxious. The good
faith of the Tuscaroras was doubtful; the Senecas were
threatening to take revenge for the killing of one of their
Chiefs by a Virginian; and there was a danger lest the
French should succeed in uniting all the neighbouring
Indians with those subject to them in an attack upon
the frontiers of the English Colonies (382 i.). It was not
long before Carolina again appealed for help. Spotswood
prepared to send it, but, as we have seen (p. xxv.), a peace
with the Indians was patched up before the Virginian
troops crossed the border (408). Unmoved by the dangerous nature of the situation, the Assembly persisted
in their refusal to provide for the defence of the country.
When, in the previous summer, there was reason to
apprehend an attack by the French squadron in the West
Indies, they had refused to vote supplies for the fortification of a province which could not boast a single
palisade or mounted gun, "the expense," Spotswood
observed "appearing to them much more immediate
than the danger." He had, however, persuaded them to
revive a law for the defence of the country in emergencies,
and under the powers conferred by this Act he made some
progress in the fortification of the mouths of the chief
rivers. In this task, however, he was impeded by the
attitude of the Quakers. They refused to work themselves or to allow their servants to work on the fortifications, affirming their consciences would not permit them
to do so, or even to supply provisions for the workers,
though they would feel obliged by their religion to feed
the French, should they come. Spotswood sardonically
contrasted this attitude with that of the Quakers who
had been the most active in taking up arms against the
Government of Carolina. He decided to put what
pressure he could upon them under the existing laws,
deeming it "absolutely necessary to discourage such
dangerous opinions, as would render the safety of the
Government precarious, since everyone that is either
lazy or cowardly would make use of the pretence of
conscience to excuse himself from working or fighting
when there is greatest need of his service" (pp. 113,
Proposal for combined defence of the Colonies.
In the face of these difficulties and dangers, the
Lieutenant Governor urged that he should be allowed to
make use of the quit-rents as an emergency fund; he
made repeated appeals for a grant of arms and ammunition, of which the country was almost bare (see p. xv.),
and, in view of the critical nature of the situation, he
suggested that speedy orders should be given for Virginia,
Maryland and Carolina to assist each other in case an
attack should be made upon any one of them, and that
the regulation of such assistance should be defined and
not left "to the precarious humour of an Assembly"
Boundary with Carolina.
The settlement of the boundary between Virginia
and Carolina still hung fire, no instructions to that
end having been given by the Lords Proprietors to the
Governor of North Carolina (90, 408, 418).
Immigration to Virginia and Carolina.; Mines and royalties.
Whilst the terms of grants of land and the collection
of quit-rents in Virginia were being made more strict, the
more advantageous terms upon which land could be taken
up in Carolina were tempting settlers to cross the border
into the Proprietary Government. The unsettled state
of that country, on the other hand, led others to wish to
move from the Indian frontier to the greater security of
Virginia (408, 418). The latter movement was checked
by doubts as to the proprietorship of lands in the fork of
Potomac (p. 280); the former was further encouraged
by the fact that whilst in the grant to the Lords Proprietors of Carolina the amount of the royalty to be paid
to the Crown upon the working of mines discovered there
was definitely declared, the royalties reserved by the
Crown in Virginia had not been stated. A good deal of
prospecting for gold and silver in the mountains was now
in progress, an enterprise in which Spotswood himself was
taking great interest. He therefore pressed for a definition of the "due share in all the mines" claimed in
grants of Crown lands (418).
Virginia an island.
Virginia is again described as an Island in an Order of
§ 3. THE WEST INDIES
Barbados. Delay in transmission of Acts.; Governor Lowther and Patenetn Officers
In recommending the repeal of a private Act of Barbados upon the ground of its injustice to one of the parties,
the Attorney General drew attention to the ill consequences which might arise from the omission on the part
of Governors to obey their Instructions as to remitting
Acts for approval by the first opportunity (390, 394).
The new Governor was soon in trouble. Lowther found
occasion to suspend both the Attorney General, Carter,
and the Secretary of the Island, Skene. The former
he had at first refused to allow to act as deputy to Mr.
Hodges; the latter complained that the Governor had
encroached upon his office (80, 211 i., 228, 318, 318
vi.–viii., 378 i., vi., vii., 393 i.). The Council of Trade
were directed to enquire into Skene's case, and also to
consider the general question whether it was desirable
that Governors should suspend Patent Officers without
orders from home (393).
The Governor and the Navy.
Another source of trouble was the relation of the
Governor with the Commanders of H.M. ships appointed
to that station. Naval Officers refused to take orders
from the Governor. Their refusal to cruise according
to his directions or to convoy the Trade Fleet as required
was the occasion, it was said, of the severe losses experienced at the hands of enemy privateers (77, 77 i., 319 vi.,
378 xvii., 434, 434 i., iii.). Capt. Constable refused to
send a ship home with Thomas Kerby, one of Parke's
murderers, who had been arrested by the Governor in
Barbados. Lowther asked for powers under his ViceAdmiralty Commission, to call Naval Officers to account
for disobeying his orders (318).
Complaint by Clergy.
The Assembly was much incensed by a complaint
of the Clergy as to the provision made for them. It
was claimed that they were very generously treated. The
Clergy, pleading their poverty, had applied for a grant of
escheated lands to add to their glebes, and for the settlement of Col. Codrington's donation (228, 228 i., iii.,
Complaint against Lowther. Addresses in his favour.
Discontent with the Governor's actions found expression in a complaint which was surreptitiously sent
home. Such discontent, he suggested, was not unconnected with his right enforcement of the Acts of Trade
and Navigation, as in the case of the ship Oxford. He
countered the complaint, whatever it might be, with
Addresses in his favour by the Council, the Assembly and
the Grand Jury (318, 318 ii.-vi., viii., 319 viii., 378, 378 i.
ff., 395, 395 i.).
Exchange of prisoners refused.
He gave good reasons for sending French prisoners
to Europe, and refusing to comply with their request
to be exchanged for English prisoners at Martinique
(77). The Board of Trade approved of his decision (186).
Trade returns Barbuda.
An account of exports is given (378 ii.).
The Island of Barbuda was the subject of a petition by
William Codrington and the Society for the Propagation
of the Gospel in Foreign parts (441 i., 463). In 1710
the Island had been plundered and the fort destroyed
by the French. As beneficiaries under the will of Christopher Codrington, the petitioners represented that they
had, at their joint expense, re-occupied and re-stocked
the Island and rebuilt the fort. The original grant by
Charles II had been for fifty years only. The Queen was
now petitioned to make the grant permanent, in which
case it was arranged that the Society should become
possessors of one quarter of the Island. It is described
as a nursery of horses and black cattle, and capable of
being planted with cotton, ginger, etc.
Bermuda was mildly plagued by measles and a
privateer (143). The appeal of the Secretary, Edward
Jones, was dismissed, the Council of Trade representing
him as unfit for H.M. service (212, 334).
Jamaica. French attack feared.
The movements of the French fleets under Ducasse and
Duguay-Trouin and preparations at Martinique caused
uneasiness lest a descent upon Jamaica should be designed.
A proposal for the reinforcement of the garrison was
submitted by the planters and merchants (22, 22 i., p.48).
Arrival of the new Governor.; Claims by the Assembly.; Right to adjourn denied.
The new Governor, Lord Archibald Hamilton, arrived
on 11th July, 1711 (18, 28). On the eve of relinquishing
his government, General Handasyd had been obliged to
dissolve the Assembly. They were pursuing the same
tactics as those followed by the Assembly of New York.
On the one hand they quarrelled with the Council over
the right of the latter to amend money bills, on the other
hand they claimed the right to adjourn themselves (18).
Upon the latter point Lord Archibald asked for a ruling
by the Council of Trade (82). The Board replied that
the Assembly being called and sitting by virtue of the
authority of the Crown, vested in the Governor by
Commission under the Broad Seal, could have no power
to adjourn themselves without his leave, for longer than
de die in diem (187).
The new Assembly.
The new Assembly, which Handasyd had summoned,
was described by him as one which promised to be the
least inclined to faction he had known. This result may
have been due in part to the influence of the Councillors
in the election. They had promised "their best endeavours that such persons should be chosen as should shew
their duty and loyalty to Her Majesty and their zeal for
the good and welfare of this Island" (18). Their first
session was amicable enough. The Act for quieting posessions was passed in the amended form required, and
provision was made for the Regiment and support of
Government for three months (82). Thanks were
returned for the recent relief from the duties on prizes
and prize goods by which privateering had been discouraged, and the cancelling of bonds entered into for
the payment of such duties was requested (75, 124,
124 i., 345).
Unsatisfactory condition of the Island.
Lord Archibald found the Treasury empty, the accounts
of public funds much in arrear, and the state of the
fortifications "ill-contrived and out of repair." Government House and the public buildings were in a ruinous
condition (82, 267). The amount of the annual expenditure was double that of the revenue. There was also a
great scarcity of provisions (p. 204). The last deficiency
was soon rectified by a plentiful harvest, and the arrival
of supplies from Europe (345, 421, 423). The repair of
the fortifications was at once taken in hand, and with the
help of Capt. Hawkins, the Royal Engineer, a new fort
at Port Morant was begun, and a new line of fortifications
at Port Royal was undertaken. For this work stone had
to be imported from England (82, 267, 423, 423 vii.).
The deficiency of the revenue was made good for the time
being by a vote of Assembly (267).
Returns and statistics.; Registers not kept.
Lord Archibald presently returned answers to the
series of queries put to Governors of Plantations by the
Board of Trade concerning the administration of the
Colonies (345). Returns of imports and exports are
given (267 i., ii., 423 viii.). But a return of births,
christenings and burials it was found impossible to make,
registers not being kept for reasons which throw a vivid
light upon the conditions of life at that time (423).
As in the case of Barbados, a cartel with the French at
St. Domingo for the exchange of prisoners was refused,
and the refusal approved (82, 187, 267).
The appointment of Councillors.
It is noticeable as a matter of procedure that Lord
Dartmouth consulted the Council of Trade before making
an appointment to the Council of Jamaica. This was
in the case of two well known Jamaicans who had been
recommended to him (108, 459). Lord Archibald urged
the Board not to support any application of the kind
without his knowledge and approval (p. 81).
The activities of the Jamaica Squadron have been
indicated above (§ 1).
Leeward Islands. Governor Douglas and the murder of Governor Parke.; Defence of islands.; Rebels and Loyalists.; H.M. regiment.; Arrest of officers.; Lt. General Hamilton suspended.
The new Governor of the Leeward Islands, Major
Walter Douglas, arrived at Antigua on July 10th, 1711.
His Instructions were to enquire into the circumstances
of the murder of Governor Parke, to proclaim a general
pardon and to arrest and send home for trial, if need be,
half a dozen ringleaders of the rebellion. His first
report emphasised the necessity of proceeding slowly and
cautiously. The inhabitants were under arms. An
invasion from Martinique was daily expected, and the
island was on the verge of civil war. The minority of
Loyalists, or supporters of Governor Parke, were terrorised
by the majority of the Planters, who, banded together
under the title of the "Association," had risen against
him. With one solitary exception, every member of
the Assembly had taken arms against Parke, and the
feeling of the majority was demonstrated by their
re-election. Col. Jones's regiment was on terms of friendly
intimacy with the rebels, and their cause was supported
by the active sympathy of the Commanders of H.M.
ships upon the station. In these circumstances, Douglas
decided to proceed with caution, "believing it were
much the same thing to lose a thriving Colony to the
publick enemy or by a civil war" (36, 81, 302, 305, 355).
In view of the imminent danger of an attack by the
French, he first applied himself to putting the islands
into a state of defence, repairing fortifications, revising
the discipline of the militia, and restoring order and
discipline in Col. Jones' regiment (36, 39, 63, 194, 302).
He had soon come to the conclusion that without naval
and military forces upon which he could rely for support,
it would be worse than useless to attempt to arrest any
of the ringleaders amongst the inhabitants. "Upon
the least motion I should make to apprechend any of the
planters," he writes to Lord Dartmouth's Secretary,
"the Island would be in an Insurrection, and the Loyalists
being the weakest, exposed to certain ruin and destruction" (81, 302, 305). He set himself, therefore, to
divide the leaders of the Association, and at the same time
to select and discipline about 200 men of the Queen's
regiment who should obey him in any action he might
take. He arrested and sent home three officers of that
regiment who had taken part in the rebellion, to be
tried for high treason (63, 81, 160, 225, 302 iv., 305).
His next step was to suspend Walter Hamilton, the Lt.
General of the Islands, whom he describes as an enemy
of all chief Governors and an aider and, abettor of the
rebels both before and after the murder of Governor
The grounds for this action are given in addresses by
the Councils of St. Kitts and Antigua (302 i.-iii., vi.) and
evidence (154 ii.–vii.).
Question of the Lt. General's membership of Councils.
Hamilton had obtained leave to return home, but
on his voyage was taken prisoner by the French (332,
422). In relation to his position as Lt. General of the
Leeward Islands, a constitutional question had been
raised and settled. Doubts were raised by the Lt. General, by
Governor of Antigua as to whether the Lt. General, by
virtue of his office, was entitled to sit in and preside over
the Councils of the several Islands. It was decided
that he was (26, 36, 195, 226).
Five ringleaders arrested and sent home.
As soon as Douglas felt that his position was sufficiently
secure, he published the Royal Proclamation of a general
pardon with a few exceptions, and caused five of the ringleaders of the rebellion to be arrested (279, 302, 350,
355). One of them, Thomas Kerby, who had field to
Barbados, was there seized in Codrington's house (318).
Both in Barbados and the Leeward Islands the Commanders of H.M. ships objected to taking orders from the
Governors to convey the Prisoners home for trial (63,
81, 318, 355).
Dissatisfaction with Douglas' measures.; Blackmail alleged.
In the mean time the relatives and executors of
Governor Parke had grown impatient at the delay
in punishing his murderers. Upon their petition, enquiry
was ordered to be made as to how far Governor Douglas
had carried out his instructions (225, 260). The dissatisfaction and disappointment felt by the supporters of
Parke in Antigua are expressed in two letters, in which
the complaint is made that after a show of coming
firmness, "the mountain produced a mole," and Douglas
is plainly charged with blackmail. He compelled, it is
said, those who had been implicated in the murder of
the Governor, to purchase immunity according to their
means, extracting £1600 from one and a cow from another,
and amassing a fortune thereby "fitter for a noble than a
brevet major" (350, 355). It is, of course, possible that,
whilst Douglas' estimate of the situation was correct and
his procedure wise, he made use of the occasion at once to
frighten and punish the rebels and to feather his own nest.
Drought in Antigua.; Defence of the islands.; St. Kitts.; Census of St. Kitts.
In addition to intestine political troubles and dread
of invasion, Antigua was suffering from the effects of a
severe drought (36, 39, 355), which extended to Nevis
(313). We have further accounts of Capt. Bourn's
action in defence of Antigua and Montserrat (30, 39).
Another attack upon Montserrat was expected (194).
Douglas spent some time in regulating the affairs, reviewing the militia and organising the defence of the four
Islands. He encouraged the settlement of the former
French parts of St. Kitts, and restored the routine
of the Courts and administration which had been allowed
to lapse (194). Robert Cunynghame, an ex-speaker of
Assembly, whom he describes as "a turbulent disturber
of the Assembly," was imprisoned under his warrant.
Cunynghame appealed against the Governor's arbitrary
exercise of power (194, 392, 392 i., ii.). Returns from St.
Kitts were hampered by the destruction of records by the
late invasion and the great hurricane, but a census is
given (65, 65 iii.).
Dutch at Eustatia.
Douglas complained of the action of the Dutch at
St. Eustatia and St. Martin's in harbouring deserters
and asked permission to make reprisals (194). He
announced the passing of several useful bills at Antigua
and St. Kitts (36, 194).
The grant in and of Nevis and St. Kitts.
In distributing debentures to sufferers in pursuance of
the grant in aid of Nevis and St. Kitts, it was found necessary to have a clear interpretation of the meaning of
"resettlement" required in the clause of the Act (102104, 137, 179, 201, 213, 368 i., 397 i.).
Stores of war requested.
The correspondence upon Douglas' request for stores
of war and more frigates for the defence of the Islands
has been referred to above (63, 69, 194, 194 ii., v. p. xv.).
Capt. Walton renewed his application for permission
to settle the Virgin Islands (86, 316, 316 i.).
Newfoundland. Capt. Crowe's report.; Failure of Fishing Admirals.
Commodore Crowe's replies to the usual heads of
enquiry relating to the Newfoundland Fishery were
returned in October, 1711. He commended the
industry of the Lt. Governor, John Collins, who had
succeeded in repairing to some extent the fort of St.
Johns. He himself had organised the inhabitants for
defence, and it was hoped that they would be able
to stand secure that winter. But for the future he
recommended the appointment of a resident Governor
and the establishment of a garrison of 200 men, 150 of
whom should be at St. Johns, as the more convenient
harbour, and 50 at Ferryland. The reduction of Placentia would be the surest as well as the cheapest method of
rendering the Island secure and prosperous (10, 11, 149,
149 ii.). Col. Lilly, the engineer, stated his views upon the
fortifications required (330 i.). Crowe corrected several
abuses in connection with the Fishery. The Fishing
Admirals, it was found, neglected the duties entrusted to
them, having "so much business of their own that they
cannot find time to do justice for others. "The inhabitants and fishermen therefore turned to the Commodore
and Captains of men of war for the settlement of their
disputes. A list of the regulations for the better ordering
of the settlement and fishery, made by Capt. Crowe after
cousultation with the chief inhabitants and Captains of
merchant ships, is given, as well as the price and quantity
of fish caught during the season (149 ii.-iv.). The strength
of Placentia and Quebec is described (149 ii., v.).
The fate of the intended Expedition against Placentia
has been seen (§ 1). The possession of that stronghold
was destined to be won not by direct assault but by the
arms of Marlborough in the West.
Sole right to the Fishery demanded.
The policy of acquiring the whole of Newfoundland
and the sole right of the fishery at the Peace Negotiations
was pressed by those most nearly concerned (234, 373 i.,
388 i., and see § 1.).
Some indication of the traditional as well as the
modern pronunciation of Newfoundland is afforded by
the spelling in these documents. In one place it is
Newf'nland; in another New-found-land. Quebec, (p.
92), again, is sometimes spelt Quibec, sometimes Queebec,
which is the local pronunciation at the present time.