America and West Indies
January 1714

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Institute of Historical Research

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Cecil Headlam (editor)

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1926

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284-295

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'America and West Indies: January 1714', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 27: 1712-1714 (1926), pp. 284-295. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=73929 Date accessed: 30 September 2014.


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Contents

January 1714

1714
Jan. 1.
Windsor Castle.
539. Lord Bolingbroke to the Council of Trade and Plantations. H.M. having been pleased to appoint John Hart, Esq., to be Governor of Maryland, you are to prepare his Commission and Instructions as usual, etc. Signed, Bolingbroke. Endorsed, Recd. 2nd, Read 3rd Jan. 1713/14. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 717. No. 54; and 5, 727. p. 340.]
Jan. 2.540. Lt. Governor Pulleine to the Council of Trade and Plantations. (Abstract of letter not preserved in inward Letter Book C.O. 37, 9, nor entered in Entry Book, 38, 7.). He arrived at Bermuda, Nov. 12th, and had his Commission read etc. the 14th. He's sorry he can't send a more gratefull accot. of the Island, which, however, he has taken care to have correct. Not a penny in the Treasury, but between 800 or 1,000l. debt due to particular persons. No acct. yet how things came to this pass. The Island in no condition to raise such a sum and defray the usual charge of the Government. 'Tis unlucky the Island should be now so exhausted, because of the great damages lately done by 2 hurricanes which he particularizes. The Assembly to sit in Jan. He'll lay before them and give accot. what they do on the state of the Island. But one Chancery cause tryed for several years. All the troublesome business left to him by his predecessor, but the profitable taken care of. He'll dispatch what causes are depending. Persons avoid being of the Council—the reason—. Inconvenience thereof. Very little current cash there. As to other riches, such as houses, slaves, etc., they are in a passable condition with neighbouring colonies. Scarcity of coin will make the clearing incumbrances difficult and the fortifications and publick edifices consequently ruinous. He'll be dilligent in his duty. The Assembly's strange proceedings abt. their own members. Mr. Dickinson excluded the last, only for being ungrateful to the then Governor, etc., and upon a re-election refused to admit him, burnt his picture, etc., without any crime laid to his charge. Out of abt. 200l. appropriated for a Governor's house, they voted 150l. to Sir John Bennet for secret service, which appeared to be Jones's prosecution. This was a breach of their trust upon which he begs speedy directions. His instructions about presents entred in the Council Books. [C.O. 37, 24. pp. 1, 2.]
Jan. 7.
Whitehall.
541. Mr. Popple to Mr. Carkesse. Reply to Dec. 31st. Encloses copy of representation from the Council of Virginia, relating to the decay of the tobacco trade. (v. Sept. 14, 1713). 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1335. No. 186; and 5, 1364. p. 16.]
Jan. 8.
Whitehall.
542. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lord High Treasurer. Enclose Lt. Governor Spotswood's request for leave to exchange a piece of land etc. (v. June 30, 1713). This exchange will be an advantage to the Governor, and no disservice to H.M., provided care be taken that the equivalent to be given to Col. Ludwell do not exceed the value of the lands he shall make over to the Governor, and we conceive it may not be improper the same be referred to Col. Nicholson. 2¾ pp. [C.O. 5, 1335. No. 187; and 5, 1364. pp. 19–21.]
Jan. 8.
Whitehall.
543. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lord High Treasurer. We find the allegations in Col. Philip Lundwell's petition (v. Dec. 4, 1713) to be true. And we have no objection why H.M. may not direct Col. Spotswood to allow the pavment of £250 accordingly. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 1335. No. 188; and 5, 1364. p. 22.]
Jan. 9.
Bermuda.
544. Lt. Governor Pulleine to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I am extreamly sorry for ye occasion of troubling you again, by this conveyance, but ye cas is so urgent in it's nature, and pernieious in it's consequence, that I can't in duty avoid it, etc. The Spaniards, from several of ye ports, here in ye North Seas, arm out sloops with commissions to seize all English vessels in which they find, any Spanish money (even to ye value of but ten peices of eight), any salt, cacao, or hides, for wch. reasons any vessels that trade in these parts, from port to port, are certainly prizes, if they can overpower them, having one or other of these commoditys always aboard 'em. This Island has already had three vessels thus taken, since ye Peace, and they even apprehend their total ruin, if your Ldships. don't interfere, by our Embassadour, at ye Court of Spain, to gain them reparation, and that, very suddenly: For, we know not what remedy to apply against people, that make daily captures of us, in ye midst of a Peace newly concluded; for which reason, we might hope, it wou'd have been better observ'd. I most humbly entreat your Lordships to let me hear something encourageing from you on this head, to keep this poor Island from desponding; for they are in ye uttmost consternation. Refers to enclusure, the rest haveing not given in their complaints: but I expect it from them daily. I hear likewise, of several other vessels taken belonging to other collonys; but that being no business of mine, shall say nothing further to it, etc. P.S. Since my concludeing this letter, one Mr. Jones has brought the enclosed complaint, etc. I am afraid if some speedy care be not taken; your Lships. will have frequent occasions of being teaz'd with things of this kind, to ye great sorrow of H.M. subjects here. Signed, Henry Pulleine. Endorsed, Recd. 22nd, Read 23rd Feb. 1713/14. 2 pp. Enclosed,
544. i. Deposition of Samuel Sherlock, master of the Samuels sloop of Bermuda, owned by Samuel Smith and Samuel Sherlock, and Bermuda built. May last deponent sailed from the Port of Pensilvania for Crooked Island in the West Indies. About three leagues distance from the same, he was seized as prize by a Spanish privateer, Lewis Martell, commander, who said he had a commission from the Governor of Snt. Tiago (being on the Island of Cubia) to take all vessells that had braseletta, logwood and salt. The Samuells had a cargo of 700 bushels of salt, etc. Signed, Saml. Sherlock. Bermuda, Jan. 4, 1713/14. Same endorsement. Sealed. 1 p.
544. ii. (a) Deposition of Francis Jones, of Bermuda, merchant. Jan. 11th, 1713(–14). The sloop Swan belonging to deponent and Thomas Jones sailed in Sept. for St. Thomas, Curacao and Bonaire, and was taken off Bonaire, Oct. 18th, last, with cocoa on board.
544. ii. (b) Deposition of John Williams, mariner, of Bermuda. Jan. 9, 1713/14. The sloop Swan whilst riding at anchor in the Rode of Bonaire (an island belonging to the States General of the United Provinces) where she intended to take in salt, was seized by a sloop under Spanish colours, the masters and mariners whereof pretended that they had a commission from the Govermt. of Porto Rico, but that they had lost the same. The Swan was carried to Porto Rico and condemned as prize. The master and mariners pretended to justify their seizure for this cause only, that she had on board 7 bags of cocoa nuts (taken on board at Curacao), etc. Signed, John Williams. The whole endorsed as preceding. 4 pp. [C.O. 37, 9. Nos. 27, 27 i., ii.; and (without enclosures) 38, 7. pp. 185–188.]
Jan. 10.
Windsor Castle.
545. The Queen to Governor Lowther. Recalling him from the Government of Barbadoes. Countersigned, Bolingbroke. This letter was cancelled. v. Feb. 7th. [C.O. 324, 33. pp. 20, 21.]
Jan. 11.
Queen's Bench.
546. Jeronimy Clifford to Mr. Popple. Enquires result of his letter of Dec. 29, etc. Signed, Jer. Clifford. Endorsed, Recd. 12th Jan., Read 14th April, 1714. Addressed. ½ p. [C.O. 388, 76. No. 165.]
Jan. 12.
Whitehall.
547. Council of Trade and Plantations to Lord Bolingbroke. Enclose following. We are preparing the necessary Instructions, etc. Annexed,
547. i. Draught of Commission for John Hart to be Governor of Maryland. In the usual form. [C.O. 5, 727. pp. 340–361.]
Jan. 14.
Whitehall.
548. Mr. Popple to Lt. Governor Spotswood. Acknowledges letters of June 30, Aug. 17, Sept. 14, and Nov 16, 1713. The multiplicity of business now before their Lordships prevents their answering by this conveyance, however they intend to do it as soon as possible. In the mean while I have only time to acquaint you that their Lordships have made reports, upon your desire of exchanging lands, etc. (v. Jan. 8). Your letter with a representation from the Council of Virginia, relating to the tobacco trade, (r. Sept. 14, 1713), will be considered, and I doubt not but such remedies will be proposed as ye nature of the thing does require. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 1335. No. 189; and 5, 1364. p. 23.]
Jan. 14.
Whitehall.
549. W. Popple to Governor Hunter. Acknowledges letters of July 18 and Sept. 10. Continues:— The great hurry of business their Lordships have had since the Peace (and which is not yet over) renders it impossible for them to answer your said letters by this conveyance; they intend to do it therefore by the first opportunity. I will not fail to lay before them the several particulars you write me, and I doubt not but they will represent the same as you desire to her Majesty. I hope, the Bill to settle the Revenue at New York, will pass this session, whereby you will be made more easy, and that people more sensible of their duty to H.M. It was ordered to be done the last year, but there was not then time for it. [C.O. 5, 1123. pp. 134, 135.]
Jan. 14.
Whitehall.
550. Mr. Popple to Governor Dudley. Acknowledges letters of Aug. 24th, 25th, 1713. Repeats first sentence of preceding. [C.O. 5, 913. p. 462.]
Jan. 15.
Annapolis Royall.
551. Capt. Aldridge to Col. Nicholson. We arrived here 19th Dec., etc. Lt. Govr. Caulfeild continues to act according to your Exey's instructions which will be much for ye King's interest and ours etc. Our companys have all taken ye oaths to King George without the least hestitation, the French inhabitants have every man refused it. Your Excy's. notions of them is very just for they are a pack of notorious villains in genll. and not to be trusted if they had taken five thousand oaths. Our men are all in perfect health, which is a very great blessing we having not so much as a plaister for a cutt finger in ye garrison which I hope your Exey. will remember, etc. Signed, Chris. Aldridge. Endorsed, Recd. 6th June, Read 6th Sept. 1715. Copy. ¾ p. [C.O. 217, 2. No. 7.]
Jan. 15.
Whitehall.
552. Mr. Secretary Bromley to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses following for their report. Signed, W. Bromley. Endorsed, Recd. 18th, Read 21st Jan. 1713/14. 1 p. Enclosed,
552. i. Envoy of Holland to the Queen. London, Jan. 14/25, 17 13/14. Repeats petition concerning the estate of Williamina Kupius (v. Oct. 1st). Signed, M. Van Borssele, Van der Hooghe. French. 2¾ pp.
552. ii. English version of preceding. [C.O. 137, 10. Nos. 30, 36 i., ii.; and 138, 14. pp. 63–65.]
Jan. 15.
Whitehall.
553. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Queen. Representation upon laws of Pennsylvania 1708–1712. We concur with the (annexed) objections of Mr. Solicitor General (v. Dec. 22, 1713), and humbly offer that your Majesty be pleased to signify your disallowance of the laws therein mentioned, etc. As to the other laws, the titles whereof are likewise hereunto annexed, we have no objections against them; so that in case your Majesty do not see cause within six months from their being now delivered to your Majesty's Privy Council to repeal any of them, they will remain in full force, pursuant to the Charter of Propriety granted to Wm. Penn. Upon this occasion we humbly take leave to represent that by the said charter, Mr. Penn is impowered with the advice of the Freemen of Pensylvania or their delegates in General Assembly, to enact laws for the good of the said Province, provided such laws be not repugnant but, so far as conveniently may be, agreeable to the laws of this Kingdom and that a transcript of such laws be within five years after the making thereof delivered to your Majesty's Privy Council, and if any of the said laws within the space of six months after they shall be so delivered as aforesaid be declared by your Majesty to be void, the said laws shall henceforth become null and void accordingly, otherwise to remain in full force. This we think to be unreasonable, that Mr. Penn should have five years time to lay his laws before your Majesty and your Majesty but six months to consider thereof; for it may so happen as in the case of the collection of laws passed in Pensylvania in 1705, that so great a number of laws may at one time be transmitted, as that it will be difficult, if not impossible, considering the other business that may intervene, to examine the same as they ought to be. We take leave to represent another ill consequence of that clause in the said charter, which is, that temporary laws, prejudicial to the trade of your Majesty's other subjects, may be enacted there which will expire before Mr. Penn is obliged to lay the same before your Majesty, as particularly in the present case the Act for laying a duty on negroes, wine, rum and other spirits, cyder and vessels, pass'd in Feb. 1710, lays a duty of 9d. per ton on all ships coming thither, except such as are owned by the inhabitants of that Province etc., which we think very unreasonable and a burthen on the trade and navigation of this Kingdom. This Act will expire the 10th of March next, and was not delivered to us till the 22nd of July last, so that before the Signifycation of your Majesty's disallowance thereof, they may re-enact the same again, and by keeping it till near the time of expiration they may in effect evade your Majesty's right of repealing such laws as may be prejudicial to your Majesty's intrest or the trade of your Majesty's subjects. [C.O. 5, 1292. pp. 408–411.]
Jan. 15.
Whitehall.
554. Council of Trade and Plantations to Lord Bolingbroke. Enclose following. Annexed,
554. i. Same to the Queen. After stating the case relating to Spaniards seizing H.M. subjects in gathering salt at Tertudos, (v. Sept. 24 and Dec. 3, 1713), continue:—Your Majesty's subjects have from the first settlement of the continent of America, had a free access to this Island, and have without interruption, unless in time of war, used to take what salt they pleased there, and we have proofs of that usage, for above 50 years, as appears by certificates of persons who have been imployed in that trade. It does not appear to us, upon the strictest enquiry, that the Spaniards ever inhabited or settled on the said Island, nor is it probable they ever did, it being all either barren rock or dry sand, and having no fresh water or provisions on it. We take leave to lay before your Majesty, the consequence of your Majesty's subjects being prohibited to fetch salt at Tertudos, wch. will in part appear from the number of ships using that trade, being as we are informed, one year with another about 100 sail. The salt carryed from thence to New England, is used cheifly for curing fish, which is either cadelscale fish or mackrel, the former of which is the principal branch of the returns made from the continent of Great Brittain by way of Spain, Portugal and the Streights, for the woollen and other goods sent from this Kingdom thither; besides which the scale fish and mackrell are of such consequence, that the sugar islands cannot subsist without it; their negroes being cheifly supported by this fish. So that if they were not supply'd therewith from New England (which they cannot be, if your Majesty's subjects are prohibitted getting salt at Tertudos) they would not be able to carry on their sugar works. This has been confirmed to us by several considerable planters concerned in those parts. Upon the whole your Majesty's subjects having enjoyed uninterrupted usage of gathering salt at Tertudos ever since the first settlement of the continent as before sd., we humbly submit to your Majesty the consequence of preserving that usage and right, upon which the trade of your Majesty's Plantations so much depends. [C.O. 5, 913. pp. 463–467.]
Jan. 15.555. Petition of Sir Thomas Laurence to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Prays that an Instruction may be given to Governor Hart to cause restitution to be made of all the perquisites formerly belonging to and taken away from the office of the Secretary of Maryland, etc. Signed, Thomas Laurence. Endorsed, Recd. 14th, Read 21st Jan. 1713/14. 1½ pp. [C.O. 5, 717. No. 55.]
Jan. 17.
Windsor.
556. Order of Queen in Council. Approving draught of Commission (v. Jan. 12) for Governor Hart. Signed, Edward Southwell. Endorsed, Recd, 15th March, 1713/14, Read 4th March, 1714/15. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 717. No. 63; and 5, 189. p. 102 a.]
Jan. 19.
Whitehall.
557. Council of Trade and Plantations to Lord Bolingbroke. Enclose Mr. Cumings' letter concerning Newfoundland, Dec. 11, 1713, for H.M. pleasure thereupon. [C.O. 195, 5. p. 324.]
Jan. 20.
Whitehall.
558. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lord High Treasurer. Request payment of enclosed account of office expenses and two quarters salaries due Christmas, 1713. [C.O. 389, 37. pp. 65–67.]
[Jan. 21.]559. William Heysham to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Prays that the Act of Barbados, 1713, relating to the Three Houses spring in the parish of St. Phillips (a rivulet that had been turned out of its proper course for private advantage to the damage of the inhabitants) may be submitted for H.M. approbation, etc. Signed, Wm. Heysham. Endorsed, Recd. Read Jan. 21, 1714. 1 p. [C.O. 28, 14. No. 10; and 29, 13. pp. 84, 85.]
Jan. 21.
Whitehall.
560. Mr. Popple to Col. Cleland. Appointing Tuesday for the hearing of his objections to the Act of Barbadoes relating to the Three Houses Spring. [C.O. 29, 13. pp. 85, 86.]
Jan. 21.
Whitehall.
561. Mr. Popple to John Thurston. Thursday is appointed for the consideration of Mr. Swymmer's petition, etc. [C.O. 138, 14. p. 66.]
Jan. 21.
Whitehall.
562. Lord Bolingbroke to the Lord High Treasurer. Encloses following, received from the Board of Trade. Signed, Bolingbroke. Annexed,
562. i. Duplicate of No. 521. [C.O. 324, 33. pp. 21–28.]
Jan. 24.563. H.M. Commission to John Hart to be Governor of Maryland. Countersigned, Bolingbroke. [C.O. 5, 189. pp. 103–119.]
Jan. 25.
Treary. Chambers.
564. Mr. Lowndes to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The Lord High Treasurer desires to know if you have any objection to the granting of the following request, etc. Signed, Wm. Lowndes. Endorsed, Recd. 28th, Read 29th Jan., 1713/14. Addressed. ½ p. Enclosed,
564. i. Petition of William Byrd to the Lord High Treasurer. Desires leave of absence from his post as H.M. Receiver General in Virginia, to transact private affairs in England, leaving a deputy in the meantime. Endorsed, 15th Jan. 1713/14. ½ p. [C.O. 5, 1316. Nos. 103, 103 i.; and 5, 1364. pp. 25, 26.]
Jan. 25.
Lisbon.
565. Lt. Governor Moody to Lord Bolingbroke (v. Feb. 16, 1714). Acknowledges letter of Dec. 1st. Continues:— I will do everything I am commanded for taking possession of that important fortress (Placentia), and the Dominions belonging to it, which will put it in the power of British subjects only to furnish all Europe with dry fish, a scheme for wch. purpose, I shall beg leave in due time to trouble your Lordships with. I humbly offer my opinion to your Lordship, what instructions may at present be proper for me to have for the further security and improvement of Placentia and its dependances, which for its intrinsick value, and utility for trade, and the protection and assistance which it is able to give to our foreign commerce in distress exceeds all the ports in America. (1) That I may be impowered to send a party of officers and soldiers to any part of New foundland for the defence and security thereof as occasion requires. (2) That I may have the usuall Instructions which are given to Governors of other ports relating to pirates, and other enemys. (3) To be impowered to hold a Court Martial and condemn according to the Articles of Warr. (4) To be authorized to command the inhabitants to joine with the soldiers upon any invasion of pirates, or other enemies, for the publick safety, and to employ them at convenient times, when the fishing season is over in felling of timber and pallisades for building of a large fort upon the most convenient part behind the Grand Beach for the security of their families and effects, into which, they may at any time repair in time of danger, for they live now in a scattered manner, too much exposed to the Indian parties from Canada etc. and pirates. With these authorities, I shall be the better enabled to defend the inhabitants and emprove the trade of Placentia, which nothing will incourage so much as their being secured from invasion and insults, etc. I sent from hence Dec. 25, inclosed to your Lop., two memorials to the most Honble the Ld. High Treasurer, relating to a supply of beer and subsistance for the garrison against our arrival at Placentia, without which their sufferings will bee too great to be surmounted, for the last year's subsistance will be expended the 25th of April next, and the garrison cannot live in Newfoundland without some other drinkable besides water, altho', I have hitherto kept them in temper wth. that only, and the expectation of their recieving H.M. usuall allowance for beer, in mony for the time past, as is the custom upon such occasions, etc. Signed, J. Moody. Endorsed, Recd. 16th, Read 17th Feb., 17 13/14. 3 pp. [C.O. 194, 5. No. 33.]
[Jan. 26.]566. Petition of merchants in London, creditors of Thomas Finch of Jamaica, to the Council of Trade and Plantations, against the confirmation of the Act to vest Finch's estate in trustees etc. The aim of it is to prefer one creditor in Jamaica over petitioners here, and therefore unprecedented and totally destructive of trade. Signed, Leonard Compere. Endorsed, Recd. Read 26th Jan., 17 13/14. 1 p. [C.O. 137, 10. No. 37.]
[Jan. 29.]567. Address of the Assembly of Maryland to the Queen. Refer to Address of Dec. 1708 relating to Sir Thomas Laurence's complaint, of which no notice is taken in the representation of the Council of Trade and Plantations, March 30, 1710, nor can we understand by it nor by your Royal Letter to the President of the Council here, that it has ever reached your sacred ear. Repeat gist of it, relating to the office of Secretary and the vesting of ordinary licences therein, quoting laws of 1662, 1678, 1692 and 1694. We have not found any other than temporary laws that ever gave those fines to the Secretary, except that of 1695, which was intended to be temporary etc., but the clause that should have made it so was omitted. The fine imposed on ordinary keepers in 1692 was temporary and for the better regulation of ordinaries and for limiting their number. We presume no officer can pretend a right to a perpetual certain estate in a thing which, in itself, is so uncertain. By the Act of 1704 it plainly appears to be the sense of the Province, that the business of ordinary keepers was so far decayed, that they could not bear so large fines, which were therefore reduced from 2000 to 1200lb. of tobacco, but now so unhappy are our circumstances, by the misfortunes we have suffered in our tobacco trade, (which is the life of all business amongst us) that we find it would be more necessary to make an Act to encourage people to keep ordinaries, as the first Act was, than to impose a fine upon those that do; for even now at some of our County Court houses, there is not one house of publick entertainment to be found, where multitudes of people are obliged frequently to resort for publick justice, and where formerly, there have been several such houses at once, so that now those that are obliged to attend there, must either suffer hardships themselves for want of entertainment, or be burthensome to the neighbouring inhabitants, who being scarcely able to bear their own burthens, are frequently ruined by giving too large entertainments. In the Act past in 1695 it was enacted, that every ordinary keeper, that kept ordinary at any County Court house or at the Port of Annapolis, should provide and maintain twelve good substantiall beds, besides what was for their own families' use, and if at any part of the country, six good spare beds, as before, under penalty of 5000lb. of tobacco etc., but now ordinary keeping, by the change of times, is become so unprofitable an employment, that most have left it off in time, some can't keep a bed for themselves to lye on, others are run away in debt and the best can scarce preserve their credit, so that, if that Act were now in force, we should scarce have one ordinary keeper in the whole Province that could comply with such a law. And we dare presume your [Majesty] would not deny us the liberty of altering such a law, lest the forfeitures therein should miss the Exchequer; neitheir, as we hope, will your Majesty oblige us to continue such a law, so much to the prejudice of the countrey, lest Sir Thomas Laurence should loose his perquisite. Those fines, when paid, were not certainly annext as a perquisite to any one particular office, or appropriated continually to one and the same person's or officer's use, but as the fine itself, so the application of it, was subject to alteration, etc. Sir T. Laurence could have no other title to them than what was consistent with their essence, which only depended on their being serviceable to ordinary keepers, and therefore he could not expect them longer than they served that end or had their being, nor so, but that if the consideration on which he had them was extinguisht or satisfy'd, they might have been disposed of otherwise, or given to some more deserving person, or at least have been refused to those that the Province thought deserved them not. Sir Thomas has not deserved those fines of late had they been continued on the ordinary keepers. We have long forborn to make our just complaints against him, lest they should be censured as the effects of disrespect. We are now obliged to make them in our own defence, etc. Although he has the benefit of the fees for searching the records in his office, yet he has suffered so many of the record books to be so long used without causing them to be transcribed that some parts of them where the rights of sundry people's estates have been recorded are wholly lost and worn out, and others the province have been forced to be at great charges to get transcrib'd to prevent them from the like fate. And now we find that those records which principally concern all the real estates in Maryland are in so dangerous and moultering a condition that 'tis not less than 150,000lb. of tobacco will preserve them. And we find that the Secretary's providing insufficient books for records is one great cause of such loss and charge. Sir T. Laurence has in his choice of Clerks of the several Courts, most commonly appointed such as would serve him at the cheapest rate, without regard to their capacities or merit, some of which have left sundry judgements and other matters of great concern to the inhabitants, which ought to have been entered, wholly neglected to the great loss of those concerned therewith; and when the parties griev'd seek redress, they find no security from Sir Thomas here to have recourse to, Sir Thomas having taken advantage of H.M. Order in Council, March 2, 1692/3 that his own personal security should be taken for the due execution of his office, tho' then by his commission he was obliged to reside amongst us, and likewise of your Majesty's Royal Letter of Lycence that he might hold the said office, tho' absent, and exercise the same by deputy, has transported himself from us, so that now we have no other security from him, for the preservation of both our real and personal estates which mostly depend upon the records in his office, than his own person, and that beyond our reach. He has leave by H.M. Order in Council, Dec. 21, 1691, in consideration that he was to give security for the good behaviour of the Clerks of the several County Courts to receive yearly from such Clerks a tenth part of a year's value of each Clerk's place, the said value to be estimated by the Governor and Council here, and thereupon Sir Thomas, without giving such security for the behaviour of said Clerks, and without having the yearly value of such places estimated as directed exacts considerable sums of the said County Clerks, on pretence that their tenths are due to him; tho' he never complyed with the condition of their being granted to him. And at this day, by himself or his deputy, receives more than one third of the yearly proffits from some of them. Contrary as we beleive, to the true intent of your Majesty's Royal Letter of Lycence to him, he has rented out his office here against the form (as we take it) of the statute of 5th of Edward VIth against buying and selling of offices. He appoints the Clerks of the several County Courts to hold their offices only during pleasure, and turns them out as he or his deputy thinks fitt, without shewing to the Courts wherein they serve any cause for his so doing, imposing upon the Courts unskilfull clerks that pay large sums for their commissions, and turning out those of more experience. The Journals and proceedings of the General Assembly lodged in his office are not taken due care of, most of them impair'd, and many of them lost. We confess some of these particulars have happened since the alteration of that law for ordinary keepers, and therefore could not be the cause of it. But as we thought we had sufficient reason to lessen those fines and to apply those that were, towards the releife of the country under its sinking circumstances; and that the care of our records had been much neglected by Sir. T Laurence, who had the sole benefit of them, tho' we bear the burthen, and paid for their transcribing and amendment, we thought our application of those fines to the publick use but reasonable, that it might in some measure make amends for the damages received by Sir Tho. Laurence's male-execution of his office. And tho' the later passages which relate to his farming his said office could not be the cause of altering those fines, yet the observation of them does the more confirm us, that Sir T. Laurence is now the less deserving of them. We further beg leave to observe that, when those fines were first given to Sir Thomas, the circumstances of the Province were much better, than they are now, but the perquisits of his office amounted not to near the annuall value that now they do; that therefore finding the province wanted them more, and his office less, than when at first granted, 'twas thought unreasonable that they should be continued longer to him after such an alteration of circumstances; being but at first given by a voluntary Act without any valuable consideration for so doing. We are very sensible of the advantage he has over us, by being always ready to answer our allegations against him, whilst we being a distance, having never heard the particulars of his complaint against us, lye under a necessity of answering. We find his pretentions much more strait upon us than any other we have had to do with. Upon granting a duty of 3d. per hhd. on tobacco to Col. Blackeston as Governor for a gratuity, his successor, Col. Seymour never pretended to it as a debt from the country to the government, but allowed it to be in the breast of the countrey, with the consent of your Majesty's Viceregent here, either to give or withhold it, tho' the very end of the imposition was to raise a revenue to which your Majesty's Instructions against the making of presents was agreable. But we find because Sir Thomas had those fines given him as a gratuity, which were only accidentaly useful to the regulating ordinaries as the cheif end of imposing them, and not laid for the sake of advancing any revenue, he seems to expect that his profits should be lookt upon as the whole end of laying them, and that the voluntary grant of them for once to him, shou'd immediatly become a perpetual obligation on us. There was no valuable consideration from him for the disposing of those fines to Sir Thomas, etc. We are sorry to find that Sir Tho. Laurence made an untrue allegation against Governor Seymour (as appears by the remarks of the Lords of Trade, 1710) having some reason to fear he may make more bold in using us after the like manner. We humbly propose as a barrier against such unfair usage, that your Majesty would be graciously pleased, from time to time, to give orders that the particulars of his complaints and allegations may be communicated to us. We shall be at all times ready to make appear the truth of what we have herein alledged etc., and hope that no allegations may be received against us, but such as shall be likewise proved. By this means we hope to preserve the character of dutifull and loyal subjects. Upon the whole, unless Sir Thomas can prove a better right to his pretentions than yet he has done, we do not think he ought to have them ratifyed. We shall always pay a strict regard to your Majesty's royall commands, and if commanded to gratify Sir Thomas in this behalf, we must and will passively submitt, but can never dissemble so with your Majesty, as to pretend an active free consent to any law for that which in the eyes of all your subjects here, seems but a burthen and unreasonable, etc., etc. Signed, R. Ungle, Speaker, and 41 others. (Cf. Nov. 20, 1713). Endorsed, Recd. 29th Jan. 1713/14. 25 pp. [C.O. 5, 717. No. 56.]
Jan. 29.
Whitehall.
568. Council of Trade and Plantations to Lord Bolingbroke. Enclose following. Annexed,
568. i. Instructions for John Hart, Governor of Maryland. In usual form, but " omitting such clauses as were proper only daring the war." [C.O. 5, 727. pp. 362–435.]
Jan. 31.
Windsor Castle.
569. H.M. Warrant to Mr. Attorney or Solicitor General, to prepare a Bill for H.M. signature appointing Edward Perrie, Clerk of the Navy Office in the Leeward Islands, with a clause obliging him to reside there. Countersigned, Bolingbroke. [C.O. 324, 33. pp. 28–30.]
Jan. 31.570. Order of Queen in Council. Approving Instructions of Governor Hart. Signed, Edward Southwell. Endorsed, Recd. 15th March 1713/14, Read 4th March, 1714/15. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 717. No. 64.]