America and West Indies
October 1715, 1-13

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Institute of Historical Research

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Cecil Headlam (editor)

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1928

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291-314

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'America and West Indies: October 1715, 1-13', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 28: 1714-1715 (1928), pp. 291-314. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=73969 Date accessed: 18 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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October 1715, 1-13

Oct. 1.
St. James's.
632. H.M. Commission to Thomas Caulfield to be Lt. Governor of Annapolis Royal. Countersigned, James Stanhope. Copy. [C.O. 5, 190. pp. 308, 309.]
Oct. 5.
Whitehall.
633. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Stanhope. Enclose following. Autograph signatures. 1 p. Enclosed,
633. i. Copy of Governor Dudley's letter, July 31st, 1714, relating to Cape Breton and the Fishery. [C.O. 217, 31. Nos. 15, 15 i.; and 5, 914. pp. 297, 298.]
Sept. 24./Oct. 5.
Rio Essequebe, Fort Kykoveral.
634. Commandant Vanderheyden Rézen to the Directors of the Dutch West India Company. Signed, Pr. Vanderheyden Rézen. Endorsed, Read 25th Feb., 1716. Dutch. 2 pp. Enclosed,
634. i.–xix. Inventories, clearances, accounts, bills of lading, lists of requirements. Dutch. [C.O. 116, 21. Nos. 132–149.]
Oct. 5.
Whitehall.
635. Mr. Secretary Stanhope to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses following for their report, what may be done for the release of petitioners, etc. Signed, James Stanhope. Endorsed, Recd. 6th Oct., 1715, Read 6th March, 17 15/16. 1 p. Enclosed,
635. i. Charles Earle and Thomas Abbott to Mr. Secretary Stanhope. Martinique, Fort St. Pierre, 6th July, 1715. Enclose following, and pray for his assistance, etc. Signed, Charles Earle, Thomas Abbott. 2 pp. Enclosed,
635. ii. Duplicate of No. 357 i.
635. iii., iv. Duplicate of C.S.P. 1706, No. 357, iii. (a) and (b). [C.O. 152, 11. Nos. 1, i.–iv.; and (without enclosures) 153, 12. pp. 380, 381.]
Oct. 6.
Worcester, in St. John's. Newfoundland.
636. Capt. Kempthorn to Mr. Popple. Encloses following. No signature. Endorsed, Recd. (from Mr. Gaudy) 19th Nov., 1715, Read 1st Feb., 17 15/16. 1 p. Addressed. Sealed. 1 p. Enclosed,
636. i. Capt. Kempthorn's reply to Heads of Enquiry concerning the Trade and Fishery of Newfoundland. Describes methods of fishing. (4) They receive hardly any sustinance from the land. (5) All their provisions (fish excepted) is supply'd from Ireland and New England, but chiefly from the last, both which being able both from the cheapness of their sailing, as well as from the things themselves, considerably to undersell our merchants, carry large quantitys there, and then their factors resideing with them in the winter, have the advantage in the winter season to exact what they please, and are so exorbitant in their prices, that the industry of the planter can't without a miracle, gett the better of his debts. Their fishing craft comes most from Brittain, their salt most from the Isle of May and some from Portugall. (6) They make use of no more then what's necessary for their fireing, and carrying on their fishery, nor could I perceive any trees bark'd, left standing; they do use barke for covering their fish, and houses, but then I suppose 'tis taken from their trees they fell for firewood. (7) There have been some complaints of the kind which I have redressed, and left the same upon record, that ye same pretentions mayn't any more be trump'd up again. (8) No complaints. (9) The fishing ships are not quite so remiss in this, as the by-boats and planters, who are allmost to a man deficient in this part of their duty, and indeed become so general, that I couldn't fall upon any method to discountinance it, etc. (10 and 11) No complaints. (12) Their owne intrest will oblige them, to put their stages into good repair, and should they do it to the prejudice of other stages, it would be immediatly complain'd of, for ye people never loose an opportunity of differing with one another. (13) I have met with complaints upon this head, and I reckon it remains a constant greivance till a ship of warr arrives. (14 and 15) The Admirals without the arrival of a man of warr would never be able to adjust any of their differences, and if they doe comply with any of their orders, 'tis more out of feare to the man of warr whose arrival is yearly expected, then out of any regard to their persons, or office, both which they so constantly abuse, by making their authority so scandilously subservient to their intrest, that 'tis in everybody's mouth as well as mine, that they're become a nusance to the country; and take away the yearly expectation of a man of warr, they would soon find they had made themselves both a useless and ridiculous authority: as to appeals, I've eased myself of that trouble in St. John's but undertooke a much larger, and much more difficult taske in the room of it, by allways being present at their courts, and prevaling upon 'em to make the first decission just etc.; but when appeals have been made to me that concern'd distant ports, they've not so strictly submitted to my decision, as particularly the Admirals and masters fishing in the Bay of Bulls, who deny'd obedience to my repeated orders, very much to the prejudice of that justice, and good order I would have established amongst 'em: and whose names I shall mention in the postscript, with some others, that they may stand the marke of their Lordships' resentment, to be an example to others, etc. (16–18) No complaints. (19) New England vessells here are very frequent and make as great a part (by all report) as any of the Trade, they seldom fish, but purchase with their provisions, and make sale again to the sack ships, their loading from hence is generally with salt for New England. Besides our owne plantation vessells, there was two Spanish ships, 25th April one from Bilboa and the other a Biscayer, who demanded fishery of the Governor of Placentia, but was deny'd and turn'd out of the port, but 'twas said they fished about 16 leagues to the N.W. of Placentia, but left that shoar on the arrivall of the Gibraltar, who I had sent to Placentia amongst other things to enquire after them ships, according to the Admiralty's instructions: the resort of the French is only at Placentia, etc. (20, 21) Their owne intrest is the best motive to engage their care in these particulars, and therefore suppose all due care is taken in curing and salting, and I haven't heard anybody surmise the contrary. (22) The commodities the New England men trade in are chiefly bread, live cattle, molossus, rum, shingle-board for covering of houses, deale board in small quantities: the planters in ye winter season as they have then little business to employ ym. are very much adicted to drink, and generally at that time runn themselves deeper in debt then summers labour can satisfie for. (23) From Leghorn, Lisbon, Fyall etc. the English ships bring wine, lemmons, anchoves, sweet oyle, olives and such like to vend for fish: but of these are such small quantities brought that 'tis not worth naming. (24) I have not been made acquainted with any other dealing then, that every ship's venture is design'd to purchase fish only. (25) Molosses, rum and tobacco of plantation commodities I have observed brought here, and but very small quantities of the latter, especially for this last season, and of other commodities mention'd in this article I have not been acquainted with any. (26) Refers to scheme (v. Jan. 10, 1716). Thô the price is according as the markett breaks it at, and everybody is obliged (as it were) to govern themselves by that rule, or very near it, yet the planters' gain can't be so considerable as the fishing ships because they buy their craft, and provisions at second hand from them, and therefore are under a disadvantage both in craft, and servants' maintenance. (27) Their sustinance during the fishing season, is chiefly bread and fish: according to the charges given, and charge of maintenance considering with all the badness of the season, the generality of them must have been loosers, if fish had sold at 50 ryals per quintal. (28 and 29) The first price broke at 39 ryals, and fell before I left to 31: and train was valued at £4 5s. per hhd.; most of the sack ships were bound for Spain and Italy, some few for Portugall, and all the oyle for Great Brittain etc. (30) The ships don't contribute so much to this ill practice, as the by-boat masters, who when they make a bad voyage, leave their servants unpaid and consequently unable to purchase a passage home, and to make enquiry into it here, is impossible, ships may be made answerable for their owne companys, but not for her passengers etc. Repeats former report. The means to prevent this abuse, and many others, and to raise this trade to as great reputation as ever formerly it bore, will be to make all servants wages goe by such a share of the fish, and to make all other hires unlawfull, as prejudicial to industry, the New England fishery goe by this method, and if these people don't soon alter their scheme, their New England neighbours will stock and undersell 'em in all the marketts in Europe and get their fish from them by their owne men, this Fishery prosper'd very well while it kept to this scheme, but then so much fish was taken, that the masters (I suppose) though[t] it was too much for a servant, and though[t] it would be better to give stated wages, but the servant's intrest was no sooner seperated from his masters, but he flag'd in his usual industry, and if he caught but enough, to answer his owne wages, and was but watchfull enough, not to have his indifference excepted against, he cared for no more: and from this managment date the decrease of this Trade: and if it continues much longer the ruin of it. (32) The French use Bank Fishery in great numbers, and at all seasons, but we have no certain account of 'em, the coast of Canada may imploy about 30 saile of ships every yeare, which carry provisions to their settlements in America: For Cape Britton the Fishery is very bad, and the present settlement is not like to prove a place of Trade as the people of Placentia are informed. Postscript. For denying obedience to my orders, and charg'd with unjust and arbitrary dealing gives a list of masters fishing this year in the Bay of Bulls, v. supra. 9 pp.
636. ii. Scheme of the Newfoundland Fishery for 1715. Returns given for each harbour. Totals:—Fishing ships, 108; Sack ships, 38; ships from America, 42; burthen of fishing ships, 11, 525; men belonging to the ships, 3, 056; fishing ships boats, 376; by-boats, 197; inhabitants' boats, 464; by-boatsmen, masters, 283; servants, 2,091. Fish, made by ships, 33,375 quintals; by by-boats, 20,716, by inhabitants' boats, 35,531; carried to market, 89,622 quintals. Train made by ships, 671 hogsheads, by by-boats, 428; by inhabitants' boats, 7,360. Number of stages, 440. Number of inhabitants, men, 3,153; women, 396; children, 500. Number of French inhabitants, men, 37; women, 7; children, 4. Signed, Edwd. Falkingham. Endorsed as covering letter. Parchment. 1 large p. [C.O. 194, 6. Nos. 10, 10 i.; and (without enclosure ii.) 195, 6. p. 183.]
Oct. 6.
St. James's.
637. H.M. Instructions to John Bridger, Surveyor of the Woods on the Continent of America. Signed, G. R. Copy. [C.O. 5, 190. pp. 309–312.]
Oct. 6.
St. James's.
638. H.M. Warrant appointing (in reversion) John Page Clerk of the Supreme Court of St. Jago de la Vega in Jamaica, "after the death, surrender, forfeiture or other sooner determination of the interest therein of Robert Clowes." Countersigned, James Stanhope. Copy. [C.O. 5, 190. p. 313.]
Oct. 6.
Whitehall.
639. Mr. Popple to Mr. Lowndes. Reply to Sept. 16th. The Council of Trade and Plantations find that Mr. Rayner was appointed Attorney General of New York in 1708, such an officer having been represented as necessary by this Board, in that as well as in other Governmts.; that he went over thither, but stay'd not long there, and has ever since been in this Kingdom. As to the salary settled, or to be settled upon him, their Lordships have nothing of that matter in their books, so are not able to say anything to that allegation in his petition. Upon this occasion, the Board looking into their books have found an Order of Council, Feb. 16, 1698, wherein his late Majesty King William declared his pleasure, that no persons should be allowed to have patents for places in the Plantations, unless they actually resided and executed the places themselves. This Order containing some of the reasons for this declaration of H.M. pleasure, I am commanded to send you a copy thereof, for the information of my Lords of the Treasury, and thereupon to observe, that when my Lord Somers had the great seals, he refused to pass Patents that had not a clause obliging the Patentees to residence. Mr. Rayner has produced to their Lordships a lycence from her late Majesty to be absent, and has represented to them the impossibility of residing there for want of a salary, none being established by that Province. However he has declared his readiness to go there in case an establishment be made for him. How far it may be reasonable to allow salary to an Attorney General (who is also Advocate General) any longer than for the time they actually reside, is submitted to the Lords Commissrs. of the Treasury. [C.O. 5, 1123. pp. 342–344.]
Oct. 7.640. H.M. Warrant granting to Horatio Walpole the reversion of the place of Auditor General of the Plantations, with salary of £500 sterl. per annum, to hold the same by himself or Deputy approved by the Commrs. of the Treasury, from the death, surrender, forfeiture or other determination of the estate and interest of William Blathwayt therein. Signed, Edw. Northey. Endorsed, Recd. Read 10th Oct., 1717. Copy. 9¼ pp. [C.O. 323, 7. No. 109.]
Oct. 7.641. Sir E. Northey, Att. Gen., to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The Act of Barbados to dock the intail of Mount Lucie Plantation etc. hath laine with me since 16th Feb. last, because I could not procure a sight of the wills therein mentioned; but having now perused the same, I have no objection agst. the sd. Act, especially for that by the Laws of Barbadoes, a deed registred in that Plantation (where common recoveries are not suffered) will be as effectual a barr as an Act of Assembly but Mr. Blackman living here hath been advised that an Act of Assembly will give most satisfaction to a purchasor. Signed, Edw. Northey. Endorsed, Recd. 8th Oct., Read 14th Dec., 1715. 1 p. [C.O. 28, 14. No. 46; and 29, 13. pp. 318, 319.]
Oct. 7.642. Samuel Eveleigh to Messrs. Boon and Berresford. Refers to following. Continues:—Since which is little of moment offered, but that Colo. Fenwick understanding that the Indians were at Combhee burning and destroying the plantations he marched up to Pond Bridge, and after having mended the same, he marched a party towards Combhee and having advice that the Indians were at one Jackson's house near the Ferry, he fell upon them next morning by break of day and out of 16 he killed 9 and took 2 prisoners with the loss of one white man, and one negroe wounded, he also took 4 of their perriaugors loaded with provisions and plunder, and immediately advised Palmer Captain of a Scout perriaugor to lay in wait at the mouth of the River for 3 other of their perriaugors, that were still in the River who the next day took them, but the Indians leapt overboard and swam ashore, he immediately made the best of his way to Capt. Stone Capt. of another perriaugor at Port Royal, where also was Capt. Burrough who commanded the whole boat, who being inform'd of 8 or 10 perriaugors with Indians in the Settlements they all three made the best of their way to Daffuskey (by which the Indians must of necessity pass) to lay in wait for them about 2 days after they spy'd 8 perriaugors coming towards. Capt. Stone with his men went ashore and lay in ambuschade, where the Indians must come a shoar if they lept overboard. As soon as the perriaugors had doubled the Point Capt. Palmer made up to them, which the Indians perceiving immediately threw their gunns into the River and leapt overboard, and made towards the place where Capt. Stone lay and 35 were killed and 2 taken prisoners being all that belong'd to 6 of the perriaugors, the Indians that belong'd to the other 2 made their escape without arms and naked into the woods. By the prisoners taken as well as by advice from St. Augustine, we are inform'd that the Yamasees are setled on the Sappola River, and several perriaugors are now fitting, and to be commanded by Colo. Danniel, in order to go and drive them from that settlement. Although we are at present easy with respect to the Indians, yet I doubt what will be the issue unless H.M. takes us under his care and protection; by advice from New England we are informed that the Canada Indians are gone to war afar off and they are there apprehensive that it is with a design to assist our Indian enemys, and also they are very apprehensive to the northward that this war will be general, the Governmt. of Maryland are in arms on that acct., the charges we are at this present time, should it continue any time will be insupportable, and that alone makes several of our inhabitants think of removing, which notwithstanding all the precautions cannot be prevented, etc. It is the expectation of assistance from the Crown that can prevent that resolution. My Lord Palatine has wrote the Governor that he is resolved to maintain Judge Trott's exorbitant power, etc. Signed, Sam. Eveleigh. Endorsed, Recd. Read 20th Dec., 1715. Copy. 2¾ pp. Enclosed,
642. i. Samuel Eveleigh to Messrs. Boone and Berresford. July 19, 1715. Charles Town. I believe the misfortune that befell Capt. Barker was before you went hence, by which we lost 27 men, and some time after the Garrison at Schinkin's Fort commanded by one Redwood was foolishly betray'd by credulity of said Captain who listning too much to the insinuations of making peace disarmed his own men, and suffered the Indians to come amongst them, who taking the opportunity drew out their knives and tomahacks from under their cloaths and knock'd 22 of our men on the head, burnt and plundered the Garrison, but some time after Capt. Chicken march'd from the Ponds with 120 men and understanding that they were got to a Plantation about 4 miles distant marched thither, divided his men into three parties, two of which he ordered to march in part to surround them, and in part to prevent their flight into an adjacent swamp but before the said party could arrive to the post designed them, two Indians belonging to the enemy scouting down to the place where Captain Chicken lay in ambascade he was obliged for fear of discovery to shoot them down, and immediatly fell upon the body, routed them and as is supposed killed about 40 besides their wounded they carried away, took two prisoners and released 4 white men of Schinkin's Garrison. The white prisoners informed us that the night before the Chiroquese to the number of about 70 understanding that two of their nation were sent by the Govr. to make peace went away with Steven Ford's son, another taken at said Garrison, to their own towns, since which we have not heard anything of the Indians, 'tis supposed they are gone home with design to come down with a greater force, and to make further alliances. Last week arrived here the Valuer Cap. Santlo (? Valure, Capt. St. Loe. Ed.), from Virginia with 160 small arms 10 barrels of powder and 25 casks of shott, and Saturday last Capt. Middleton arrived from the same place with 120 white men. The Govr. Spotswood has been very cordial and assisting to us etc., and promises to assist us with more if there be occasion, which we have desired him to send us; We have assured him in our letter that we will write to you, to acquaint the Secy. of State therewith, that he may have his approbation and acknowledgemt.: he has writ us several letters of which he has sent us copies to the several Governors of North America in our favour pathetically moving them to our assistance. We have an account by way of Rhode Island that the Success man of war is coming hither with 500 arms. By letter from North Carolina we are advised that Maur. Moor was to march the 10th of this month with 60 white and 60 Indians to our assistance, and proposed to be at Cape Fear about the 17th and Capt. Scriven of Winyaw Garrison has sent a periago to Cape Fear to joyn him, and with the said periago to ferry the Horse over that river. The Governor marched yesterday from the Ponds for Col. Broughton's with about 100 white men and 100 negroes and Indians with a design to pass Zantee River to meet and joyn Col. Moor and then make some attempt upon the Northern Indians. I am very much surprized when I consider the barbarous usage Mr. Craven has met with from the Lords Proprietors. That they should favour that person (Parson Johnson in margin) with the most valuable place under their donation, that openly and daily affronts and writes against the Govr. That they should strip him of all the valuable perquisites of his Governmt. and afford him no more than £200 a year hardly worth £50 stirling to support the state and grandeur of a Govr., and that to a person of his birth and quality. They are indeed very generous Gentlemen not a shomaker or any mean tradesman but what can earn that mony. I have a capenter now at work with me to whom I give 15d. pr. diem victuals and drink. Aug. 24th. About a month since the Apalatchee and other Southern Indians came down on New London, and destroy'd all the Plantations on the way, besides my Lady Blakes, Falls, Col. Evans and several others, have also burnt Mr. Boon's plantations and the ship he was building. The crops thank God are still pretty good; the Govr. at that instant had marched the Army to Zantee, however he returned back on the first notice upon his approach the Indians fled over Ponpon Bridge and burnt it having killed 4 or 5 white men. We have not since heard from them only that they chaced the whale boat with six periagoes filled with men. Capt. Stone was thereupon sent with six periagoes and 100 men to Port Royal where he has cutt off six canoes of the enemy and drove them into the woods. The Northern Indians have not since appeared against us and we are in hopes, the Cheroquese will be our friends. We have no news of the two Indians formerly sent up to them, however Eleazar Wiggin and another Indian trader have undertaken with two Indians more to go to the Chiroquese with design to perswade them to be for us and fall upon Euchees, Apalatchees and Yamasees. They undertook this dangerous voyage upon promise of £500 each if they effect the business and were paid £50 a piece. The Success man of war is arrived with 500 arms and since the above 30 men more are arrived from Virginia about 80 whites and 60 Indians from North Carolina. We now have the Assembly sitting and an Act is passed for payment of the Forces that are to be raised, and those arrived from Virginia and North Carolina. There's to be a Lieut. General, a Colo. and Lt. Colo. and Majors, 600 whites inhabitants to be raised to be commanded by Captns. of sixties and 400 negroes likewise to be divided into companies of sixties commanded each by a Captain and Lieut. Mr. K— as I am informed is a gentleman bred up at St. Germains and as I suppose with Col. Rhett used to pay a great deal of respect to Sacheveral's picture in the Colonel's Hall. Colo. Broughton has writ home to Colonel Johnson I believe it adviseable you should consult together: I am afraid of Stewartizing this letter therefore shall conclude, etc. Copy. 5 pp.
642. iii. Commissioners appointed by the Commons House of Assembly of South Carolina to correspond with Jos. Boon and Richard Beresford, their Agents in England. Charles Town, Aug. 25, 1715. Enclose Address to H.M., begging his immediate assistance to our distress'd Colony, etc. We are also order'd by the Assembly to press you to use all the diligence you can to have the Address presented to H.M. that no time be lost in letting him know the distress we are under, etc., for considering the circumstances we are under, a little time lost may be of very ill consequence to us. We need not give you the reasons why the Govr. and Council have not sign'd the Address, more particularly the Govr., the nature of the Address carrying the reasons with it, but you will have one from both Houses, desiring in part what the Address of the lower House pray for more fully. Gentlemen you are not unsensible of the loss the country had sustain'd by our Indian war when you left, as all the settlements of Port Royal Combahee River and all the South side of Edisto River, as also all the English settlements on Santee River, since which the said Indians some time about the middle of July last came over Pon-pon Bridge undiscover'd till they came to Mr. Leviston's plantation whose house they burnt, from thence went to New London and burnt a house there, but finding they cou'd not take the Garrison at New London, which consisted of about 50 or 60 men, they spread themselves down Stono River, and burnt all before them as far as Mr. Farr's plantation only Langa. (fn. 1) Morton's house escap'd of all the houses from New London to Mr. Farr's, they also attempted to get over the Bridge that goes from the plantation that was lately John Beamer's over to Stono Island, but there being a garrison there, they were prevented. You will wonder gentlemen, how such a body of Indians cou'd do such a damage so suddenly and nobody to oppose them, the reason was this, the Indians from the 6th of June to the middle of July had been so quiet to the Southward that the Scouts on the other side of Edisto River could not discover any of them and were sure they were not near the Settlement. All things thus seeming to be quiet, the Govr. got together a body of about 700 men and march'd over Santee River at French Santee with a design to march to Wincaw River, there to meet Colo. Maurice Moore, that was coming from North Carolina, with some white men and Indians to our assistance, and after he had join'd them, to march away to the Sarraws and our other Northern Indians to strive to cut them off, but the forces no sooner got over Santee River but expresses came from the Southward that a body of 6 or 700 Indians were got over Edisto River and began to do mischief upon which expresses were sent away after the Govr. to let him know of the body of Indians that were got into the Settlements and the great danger all that part of the country on the South side of Ashley River was in by reason of the absence of such a number of our men, for the few men disposed up and down in the distant garrisons were not able to make heads against them, they had burnt all before them, and retreated over Pon-pon Bridge. The Govr. with the forces came to the said Bridge some few hours after they were got over, and where the Indians are gone to since we don't know, not being able to discover them, but suppose they are gone to the Savana Town, and from thence to make incursions upon us now and then as they see fit. For we are well assur'd they knew of the march of our forces to the Northward, the Northern Indians have been very quiet of late, and we have advice from the Govr. of Virginia that they have been with him to make a peace and settle a trade with Virginia but he has not yet made a peace with them but they are return'd to bring the head men of those Northern Indians into Virginia to treat of a Peace. We are sending again to Virginia to desire that Government not to make any treaty with those Indians till they come and submit themselves to this Government, and make satisfaction for the great damage they have done us; you know the Govr. of Virginia has a mind to engross all the Indian trade and under pretence of making peace with those Indians for us, they will supply them with goods, which if not prevented by an Order from the King to that Governmt. will prove by degrees the ruin of this country as you know very well. Our Assembly is now sitting and about to pass a law to raise 1,200 white men and negroes to be under pay and for to be posted in three divisions for the defence of the country that is to the northward, the westward and the southward by this method 'tis propos'd to defend the country, till all the crops are got in, and then if practicable to march with a good body of men into their towns but God knows how things may be with us, between this time and that, but one thing we may assure you that that charges we are and shall be put to in defending the country will be more than the country will be able to bear unless we have the charitable assistance of the Crown, which we now put you in mind of to procure for the country if possible, for another misfortune attending us in these our troubles, is that the comon people by reason of their great losses are daily running off the country and its found very difficult to prevent them. The charges we are now at for defence and carrying on the war is computed will amount to £120,000 per annum. Our Assembly is passing a law to answer and defray the same and have fallen upon this expedient and that only to answer the charges of six months to make and put out £30,000 in new paper credit to be sunk hereafter by a tax on the inhabitants, several other expedients were thought of and proposed but they were attended with so many inconveniencies and difficulties that our Assembly could fix on none better and that would sooner answer the purpose. Since wt. Mr. Middleton wrote to you from Virginia we have received from that Government 30 men more with an officer and from North Carolina about 100 white men and 60 Indians (Tuscaruros and Coores) under the command of Col. Maur. Moore. We could have a farther assistance of men from Virginia, but we are already under so great a charge for the maintenance of theirs and our own standing forces that we are not capable of bearing it, and are in hopes with those to be able to defend ourselves till we know the King's pleasure. Col. Alexr. Spotswood, Governor of Virginia, has been particularly serviceable to us and will (we are assured) do this countrey all the good offices that lies in his power. Mr. de la Conseilleire return'd from Boston the 18th currt. and brought about 600 arms purchased with the goods sent thither for that purpose. That Governmt. and particularly Colo. Dudley their Govr. was so ungenerous, that they in no respect whatsoever were willing to do the least service so that had we not sent those effects we should have been at a great loss for want of those arms which are come very seasonably for the fitting out the Army. The Assembly has directed us to inform you, that they will as soon as possible remit the effects to defray your disbursements or will otherwise make you satisfaction for under the present circumstances of this country it is impossible for them to remit you anything at this juncture and time of the year 'tis next to impossible to procure anything that's proper to send to Europe. Signed, Robt. Daniel, Ar. Middleton, B. Goddin. Copy. 6 pp. [C.O. 5, 1265. Nos. 18, 18 i.–iii.]
Oct. 8.
Whitehall.
643. Mr. Secretary Stanhope to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses following, "for your opinion both of the justice of the petitioner's pretensions, and likewise of the most effectual way of restoring him to these plantations, if you find he has a right to the same, he being particularly recommended to H.M., who is inclined to shew him all favour." Signed, James Stanhope. Endorsed, Recd. 14th, Read 21st Oct., 1715. 1 p. Enclosed,
643. i. Petition of Lewis William Durepaire de Nayac to the King. Petitioner, a French Protestant who has served with the King of Prussia's troops, claims three estates in the French part of St. Christophers, in right of his wife, who was the widow of Maigne. Prays to be reinstated therein, "according to your Royal word, and the intercession of the King of Prussia" etc. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 10. Nos. 71, 71 i.; and 153, 12. pp. 350–353.]
Oct. 10.
Ferryland.
644. Mr. Cumings to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Report upon the trade and fishery of Newfoundland, similar to other accounts given supra and Oct. 13. Signed, Archd. Cumings. Endorsed, Recd. 7th, Read 8th Nov., 1715. 1 p. Enclosed,
644. i. An abstract of the fishery of Newfoundland, from St. Peter's to Bonavista, 1715. 1 p.
644. ii. Details of preceding. 1 large p. [C.O. 194, 5. Nos. 100, 100 i., ii.; and (without enclosures) 195, 6. pp. 146–148.]
Oct. 10.
New York.
645. Governor Hunter to Mr. Popple. I have (since I wrote that of 29th Sept.) received yours of ye 24th June, with their Lordpps. letters containeing H.M. Royal assent to the Debt and Excise Bills, by the way of Boston. I am bound beyond expression to their Lordpps. for their justice and compassion in forwarding and recommending them to the King. This goes at a venture by a ship now on the coast bound for Holland, soe their Lordpps. cannot expect soe soon the answers to the severall questions, and the execution of their other orders, in theirs of ye date mentioned: Soe soon as I am able to give them full satisfaction upon these heads they shall hear from me. It has indeed been unlucky for me that my Lord Stairs to whom I had committed my affaires should be absent. The state of the case relateing to the Palatines is soe well known at your Board that I judg'd it next to ridiculous to trouble them with a needless repetition. However because you seem to desire to have it in one view, I shall give it you as minute as may be. Repeats history of his Instructions to settle Palatines and his not being paid by the Treasury for the same. v. C.S.P. 1710ff. Soe many of them dispersed themselves through this and ye neighbouring Provinces, and there remaines upon the lands that I planted them upon, and that of Scohare, about 400 working men, soe that I reckon the number of souls in these three places to be about 1,200, who subsist pretty comfortably for new beginners, haveing beene blest with very plentifull crops that the industruous really gett money besides their maintenance, etc. I must putt you in mind of one instance of my good œconomy. Sixpence and fourpence was the stated allowance for their subsistance, when I made my bargaine for beere and bread. I fell to work with buyeing of cattle and fish and salting them by which I found that I might gett them subsisted under the allowance made me, etc. I need not tell you that all imaginable arts were us'd to stiffle that project, nor that I was sencible that I was but struggleing against a very rapid stream, etc. Refers to Mr. Bridger's neglecting that work. Of this I acquainted the Lord Treasurer and the other ministers desireing he might be sent for to give an account who's will it was that had determin'd him to disobey H.M. possitive commands, but to that I had noe reply noe more than to ye many hundreds I wrote to them upon that and other subjects of publick concerne. Mr. Nicholson also made a peece of merit of decryeing and discourageing ye designe. Him I minded not being well assured that noebody else would, etc. If wee are in the right as to our method (of making tar, etc.), why are wee not sett to work. If in ye wrong why are wee not sett right, etc. As to Mr. Nicholson's cloathing, here it lyes safe and sound. I have not meddled with it, for as to giveing them out to ye soldiers, I durst as well stop their pay, it would have the same effect. You have heard that when it was imposed upon them, my own cloathing was actually here, and I gave it accordingly being willing to putt off the evill day, and now I have received another cloathing. If ye Palatines are againe imploy'd it will serve well for them and reward their labour, that is the best use I can devise for it. The coats are scurvy rags without lineing. Mr. Nicholson wrote to me to dispose of the remainder of the Expedition stores in these parts. They were accordingly sold at publick outcrye, (account inclosed). The produce is not as yet received, there being a necessity in this country upon these occasions of giveing creditt. I also disposed of about three or four score pounds worth at Albany which was paid me by discount. Soe soone as these accounts are finish't they shall be sent to the vallue of a farthing. I was goeing to give you a detaile of my other grievances, but haveing copys of my letters to my Lord Stairs by me I thought it would doe as well to send them to you, seeing he is out of ye way. You'll please to impart to their Lordpps. what you find in them that may be of use. The Bishop of London I hear has appointed Mr. Vesey his Commissary here, at least he writes soe to his freinds. I hope his Lordpp. has also constituted Talbott his Commissary for the Jerseys, and Phillips for Pensilvania, these being the three Clergymen mention'd in mine to my Lord Staires, and then I shall know what he meanes, the best on't is, that though I know noe good they have ever done I know noe great hurt they can doe at present etc. P.S. (autograph) I hope you have my Indian papers. I believe they are upon their march before this and I doubt not but they will put an end to the Carolina warr by putting an end to ye enemys of yt. Colony. Signed, Ro. Hunter. Endorsed, Recd. 21st, Read 28th Dec., 1715. 10 pp. Enclosed,
645. i. List of Palatines at Schochary and on the two banks of the River, 1715. Total, 373. Endorsed as preceding. French. 1 p.
645. ii. Governor Hunter to the Earl of Stair. New York, Oct. 18, 1714. Mr. Kennedy has brought me two of my most dearest Lord's letters one dated before ye last (with my repreive) after ye Queen's death, for which I greive as much as any man, etc., but having suffer'd under the late administration, beyond what is conceivable and all avenues to her well experienced justice and compassion being barr'd up, to me at least, being continually alarm'd with the headlong measures at home, and the seeming indolence of those whose business it was to putt a stop to them; I was really become regardless of life itselfe, beleiving that there was nothing left in't worth an honest man's care. Haveing mention'd my sufferings I must begg your patience whilst I enumerate a few, etc. In the first place one who if I be not mistaken, had never seen troops in the field in his life was sent over hither to command a land Expedition here with powers inconsistent, if I may be allowed to speake soe, with those in my Patent, whilst I was actually a Brigadr. in ye Army and all the drudgery of Commissary of Provisions for the whole allotted to my share, which trust I executed with the greatest care and best economy possible, but for my reward many of the Bills drawn for the service were return'd protested and to this hour hang over my head, severall of the merchts. not likeing the South Sea payment at that time, and this, though I had H.M. orders to draw on her Treasury to which she had given orders to make punctual payment of all such bills. There were many other hardships in that affaire etc. In the next place there were thirty serjeants with Lieuts.' Commissions sent on the service who were directed to be paid by me at Ensigns' pay, which I accordingly did, but my bills being turn'd over from one Office to another, upon my repeated instances for payment, I at last receiv'd a letter from John How Esq. dated ye 25th Feb., 1714, to acquaint me that these officers were putt upon halfe pay on ye 25th Dec., 1712, and that considerable summes had beene paid to their wives and attorneys at home, and that there wanted propper vouchers etc., soe that in short my bills he beleived would be protested, and there is to this houre £1,200 of this money unpaid. In the same Instructions I am ordered to build a Fort in the Indian Country with a Chappell etc. for ye reception of a Missionary which was accordingly done for £500, the Queen's Instructions beareing that the account should not exceed a thousand; These bills are also return'd protested, the reason given being that their answer at ye Treasury was, That my Lord would pay none of them. To help me out in these matters, I had a letter from Col. Nicholson upon his last arrival in these parts with his new Commission of Accounts, desireing to know what part of ye cloathing appointed for the use of the Expedition, the troops at New York cold take off. I answer'd him that I cold take none for that use, because the one halfe of my own cloathing which had been contracted for, and provided according to H.M. Instructions was actually arrived and ye remainder expect in the very first ships. Two or three months after I receiv'd a letter from Mr. How intimateing that my Lord Treasurer was much concern'd to understand that I had refused to take off any part of that cloathing, by which meanes H.M. intentions to reimburse some part of the expences of that Expedition was in a great measure defeated, hee hoped H.M. commands and my interests were inseperable; I return'd that I thought I had convinc'd the world that noe consideration upon earth cold step betweene my duty and H.M. interests, but as for commands I assure your Lordpp. I never had any but that letter from Mr. Nicholson, and the intimations of my Lord Treasurer's notification of ye Queen's intentions to Mr. How, from him. However, etc. I sent for that to Boston which I'le maintaine is ye worst and dearest that ever was given out to troops foreigne or domestick, and soe for ought I hear my offreckoning's stopt and that cloathing thrown to my charge. Repeats the case of the Palatines. By the attested accounts sent home, there is in due to me upon that score upwards of £20,000. You'l aske me where I gott it, why truely as my Lord Renelagh said by his new house you may come in time enough to pay it. I stand bound for a great part of it, the rest is ye produce of the poore perquisites which the rigour of those I had to doe with cold not reach. Meane while I was left to begg my daily bread from a hard hearted Assembly here, tho' H.M. upon a Representation from the Lords of Trade of the state and behaviour of this Province had ordered a Bill to be drawn and laid before ye Parliament for settleing the Revenue here dureing her life, which was accordingly drawn but never presented to either house. Some of my freinds wrote me word that they thought it was better for me it should not pass, because if there was a Revenue settled I might depend upon being superceded, as if it had beene more eligable to starve with the pompous name of Governour than otherwise. My Government indeed protects me from arrests, but that is but long life and ill health. I beg'd of those who wrote soe to me that if they found the least inclinations in the Ministry to recall me, they would make it my request to them that I might fall as decently as might be but to that I was answer'd, that they were all my freinds, and sorry for my sufferings. I beleive many were who cold not help me, witness the good Lord Marr, who was soe kind as to tell me soe. All this while tho' I lett slip noe opportunity to acquaint them with my sufferings and hardships I never had one single letter from any of the Ministry in answer to my hundreds or any other subject, but that which involved me in these inextricable difficulties. And that I might be robb'd of ease as well as bread, that eternal Teazer Nicholson comes over with a new Commission of Accounts which in reallity gave him noe powers worthy of a Great Seale, but the natural vanity of the man led him to make such uses of it in receiveing and encourageing complaints from ye troublesome and dissaffected, that all Government was well nigh unhing'd here, hee stiled the Governor of Governors and all obedience and dependence transferr'd to him. To strengthen his powers and pretentions, that venerable Society of which I have the honour to be a member tho' unworthy, gave him under their Seale a Commission of Spiritual Inspection. How consistent that was with the powers granted to me in my Letters Patents, or the true interests of either Church or State Governments in these parts I shall not take upon me to determine. But all the effect it had was to encourage two or three of the clergy, and those profest Jacobites to flye in my face, but guessing at ye designe, I would take noe provocation or any notice of their seditious conduct, least they should take occasion to crye Church here, as they had done elsewhere, soe despaireing of a persecution, the Reverend Rector of this place runs away for England without the privity of any body whom I know, and I as little know his errand, but he goes home in good time. I shall mention noe more of him, but that he has ye honour to stand on record in ye Council Books of this Province for haveing basely aspersed and abused his Soveraigne King William even dureing his life. These my Dearest Lord are some of the many difficulties your poore freind has been wrestleing with for these four yeares past. I hope they are now over, but if they be not, I have courage and strength enough to goe through with any thing now my heart is at ease, and the Nation safe. I give you leave if you please, nay desire you may communicate what I write to my Lord Sunderland, Lord Sommers or any other of H.M. Ministers, for as yet wee know not who they are, and when affairs of greater consequence are adjusted, I cannot doubt without impiety of releife. I hope the Duke of Marlborough has not forgott me. I have beene his faithfull servant in all stations of life, and you see I have ye honour to be his fellow sufferrer. Pray assure him of my lasting gratitude and devotion, and tell him if you please that I am as able to carry a muskett as I was ten yeares agoe, etc. Signed, Ro. Hunter. Same endorsement. Copy. 10 pp.
645. iii. Governor Hunter to the Earl of Stair. New York, 8th Nov., 1714. Refers to the payment of Lady Lovelace out of the quit-rent fund of £4 or £500 expended by the late Governor Lord Lovelace upon the Palatines brought over by him, upon the report of the Auditor of Plantations, etc. One may conclude that the Auditor's mentioning ye quitt-rents afforded matter of joy to some people as giveing them an opportunity to stop up the only remaineing little stream from which I might sipp, tho' it did not affect me, but it putt the merry conceit of your Cady in my head, when the Drum of the Regiment had whipt a fellow at a post untill he was all over blood, and the officer ordering him to be taken down, Cady cry'd out, Hold, for I spye one little white spott still under the wast band of his breeches, and soe would have fallen to work againe, if he had beene permitted. Prays his Lordship to put his agent Strahan in the way of lodging his memorial, etc. I am sure my Lords Sunderland and Sommers will assist you. You know it was by their advice that H.M. intrusted me with that affaire etc., and cold never foresee that it was to be my ruine. Were I but free of debt I would still dance after a drumm, follow another man's plow or teach other men's children for bread to my own, etc. The Province here owes me of arrears of sallary and money laid out for the publick as per their own auditt and Act upwards now of £5,000. On the account of the Palatines there is due to me upwards of £20,000. On account of the halfe pay officers here, £1,800. A whole year's cloathing which I have this minute given out, not dareing to give Arthur Moors for feare of mutiny till further orders. Bills for the Indian Forts I know not how much. Many of the Bills for ye Expedition returned protested, of which I can yet make noe state. What I most earnestly and justly begg is, H.M. speedy approbation of the Acts sent home for ye payment of the publick debts here. That orders may be given to satisfy what is paid here by ye Queen's Order, to the halfe pay officers, their receipts and vouchers being in my Agent's hands. The bills for ye Mohock's Fort may be accepted or paid. That I may be eased of that accursed cloathing, which if given out will starve ye soldiers or make them desert. And that £10,000 or one halfe of what is due on the Palatine account may be paid to my Agent to releive the most needy or stop the mouths of the most clamourous of my creditors. Hard is my state indeed, if when justice runs in it's right channell it should not reach to me, etc. Signed, Ro. Hunter. Endorsed, Recd. 21st, Read 28th Dec., 1715. Copy. 5¾ pp.
645. iv. Account of sale of stores returned from the Canada Expedition. Total, £1,371 7s. 3¼d. Signed, Robt. Lurting. New York, Oct. 10, 1715. Endorsed as preceding. 3 pp. [C.O. 5, 1051. Nos. 18, 18 i.–iv.; and (without enclosures) 5, 1123. pp. 390–401.]
Oct. 13.
Whitehall.
646. Mr. Secretary Stanhope to Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses following. As this is a matter of very great consequence I am to signifie to you H.M. pleasure, that without loss of time you take it into consideration, and making a strict inquiry into the present state of Newfoundland, report your opinion of such methods as you shall judge may be most effectual both for remedying the present abuses complained of and for preventing the like for the future, and for setting the Fishery on such a foot as may make it truly beneficial to H.M. subjects. Signed, James Stanhope. Endorsed, Recd. 15th, Read 18th Oct., 1715. 1½ pp. Enclosed,
646. i. Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to Mr. Secretary Stanhope. Admty. Office, 12th Oct., 1715. Enclose following. Continue:—Since the speedy bringing this affair of the Fishery, and the good management of other matters at Newfoundland, is of very great consequence to H.M. service, you will please either transmit it to the Lords of the Council of Trade, that they may turn their thoughts towards finding out some effectual methods for putting a stop to the great evils complained of, and settling this matter on a better foot; or take such other measures thereupon, as may most effectually contribute to the preservation of a trade, which (if some speedy care be not taken) may probably run, by these disorders, to utter ruin. Signed, Orford, Geo. Dodington, J. Jennings, Cha. Turner, Geo. Baillie. 2 pp.
646. ii. Capt. Kempthorn (v. May 10) to Mr. Burchett. It was the 29th June before I made the land, I met with a great deal of severe weather, etc. Upon 8th July we got into the Bay of Bulls. Foggy weather prevented me getting out till July 18th, when I got to St. Johns. The day I got into the Bay of Bulls, I was apply'd to by a messenger from Lt. Governor Moody, who arriv'd there the same day, and shewed me a Representation of his complaining of a great scarcity of bread and other provisions in the garrison, and desiring credit for the same, for bills drawn upon the Government; I procur'd him amongst the masters of the merchant ships 5,000 weight, at as cheap a rate as the market would afford, which was 35s. per hundred, and by the same hands dispatch'd it away, and had concern'd myself in procuring a larger supply, but these people acquainted me that about 3 or 4 days before my coming in, a pink sail'd thence freighted with ammunition and provisions for Placentia, so that the supply I procured was only to allow for a bad accident, that possibly might befall her, etc. From the same messenger I was informed, that they had no more than two fishing ships in that port; why that harbour is not so much us'd by our Fishery, as 'twas by the French (my information is) that our boats are not sizeable for that service, for our fishing ledges, not lying above a mile or two, from our harbours' mouth, our boats are built accordingly, but the ledges of that port lying 8 or 10 leagues off, the French were obliged to build a larger sort called shalloways, fitted with a deck, that can keep the sea five or six days for a loading, and without this provision made by those who design for that side of the island, the fishery will turn to small account; and was this method more in use everywhere else, I believe they would find their advantage in it; This has been but lately experimented, I think last year was the first of it, that the sending these small shalloways, sloops and other kind of vessels to the Banks for fish, and when loading is caught to come in and cure them, has turn'd to near 200 p.c. advantage, over the shoar fishery, for the codd are so glutted with bait in with the shoar,' that thô you shall see the ground cover'd with them, yet they'l hardly touch the bait. 'Tis certain that the shore fishery has prodigiously fail'd, for boats that used to take 250 or 300 quintall per boat, now shall think they have made a good voyage for 150; whether this is occasion'd from the want of industry, or want of some good method that would better engage the servants' pains, I can't tell. I can't but recommend the New England custom: the fishery of New England has been carry'd on with very great success by paying their servants according to the number of fish that is taken, that is, by giving them a certain share, such as every sixth, every eighth, every tenth, according to the value of the servant, and this obliges their diligence to the end of the season; because masters and servants advantage (by this method) is made one, but where they pay in mony and stated wages, it may engage the servant's diligence till he has got enough to answer his wages, but then will be under little concern, etc., besides it lays the industrious man and slothfull too much upon a level, etc. The information of a slender Fishery at Placentia, joyn'd with disorder I found here (where lay about 30 sail) the merchant ships in this month especially (upon pretence of debt) endeavouring who shall be the first in seizing the planters' fish, and quarrelling amongst themselves who has the best title to seize, and the planters on their side apprehensive of these designs, making their complaints to me; that if a ship of war should be wanting at this season of the year (which is the time of gathering in their debts) there would be but little justice amongst them; this appearance of disorder, joyn'd with the former account of trade at Placentia, prevail'd with me to judge it most necessary for H.M. service to send only the Gibraltar to Placentia, and to remain here myself (where there is by much the greater rendezvous of trade, besides the several ports that are immediate dependants upon this) to prevent disorder breaking in upon them to the great prejudice of the trade and hinderance of each others fishery, and very likely, murder would have ensued without somebody to controul them, which this time of the year has allways been subject to, for want of some regular methods of gathering in their debts, which the Admirals of Harbours are incapable of managing themselves, being partys in this affair, and as much to be restrain'd as others: besides there is another great occasion of disorder, which always stores up large stock of complaint, to perplex us upon our arrivall, the neglect of deputing somebody to maintain order in the winter, or the want of power rather, so that the winter season is a sort of respite from all observance of law, or Government, at that time theft, murder, rapes or disorders of any kind whatsoever may be committed, and most of them are committed, without controul, and time enough given for the offenders to make off, for should anyone concern himself to secure the party, his design would be withstood, as an usurped authority, and most would take part with the offender, to suppress the usurpation, without regard to what became of the criminal, or what might be the consequence of his crime; and I have been acquainted with some cases of this kind so that there seems to be an absolute necessity, that this particular should be provided for, that people may always have somebody to apply to for Justice, that somebody may always be at hand to suppress disorder and riot, and to have a lawfull power to command the assistance of H.M. subjects in the execution of a duty exercised for the publick good. St. Johns is accounted the metropolis of this Island, and the discipline that is kept up here, whether bad, or good, will have a great influence upon all the rest of the harbours, for there is few ships that trade to Newfoundland, but either first, or last call in here; provisions of all kind receive their value here, as bread, beef, pork, salt, molosses, rum, wine, brandy etc., for what is given at St. Johns for anything, is a necessary enquiry for other places to govern themselves by, and the same of their owne manifactures the price of fish, and train is first broke here, and the whole country enquires how the rates go at St. Johns, etc. I don't know anything that tends more to confusion, and proves more prejudiciall to the Fishery, then that irregularity, their ill manner of securing their debts, etc. For about the beginning of August the planters and by-boat keepers, that have took up credit of the ships, either of salt, bread, rum and the like, shall be stript of all their fish, and often before they are cured, to be beforehand with other creditours; and in these seizures little regard is had to the quantity, or worth of what is seized, if the man can call himself a creditour, 'tis sufficient, so that about this season, great part of their time has been misus'd in tricking and watching each other, in quarrells and clubblaw, who shall bare away the fish; from whence proceeds the following ill consequences; The fishery that might be carry'd on to the latter end of September, is by these means broke up in the begining of August, and so much time lost; very much to the prejudice of many a ship's loading, for the planters, whose fish are seized, are imediately deserted by their servants, because they can expect no wages from their masters, who are made bankrupts by it, the servants to by the same means, left without wages, without subsistance, or any ability to purchase their passage home, are glad to lay hold of the first service that offers, to New England, or anywhere, rather than run the hazard of starving here in the winter. From these hardships laid on planters, and servants, proceeds the cause of these complaints, of the Fishery's being seduced away by the New England ships, but 'tis rather the oppression and exaction, that they lye under from the masters of ships, and Irish, and New England factors here, that drive them away; and now I speak of the latter, I can't pass them by, without complaining of the prodigious exaction that these set of people use upon the planters in the winter, that to represent the planter truely, he is little better then a slave to the other, who after getting his two or three hundred pr. cent by them, shall complain of his being a looser since he has used this country, and that he only stays to gather in his debts, and then he would gladly quit the country, and these debts is only making up what has been paid already three or four hundred pr. cent more; These people are the occasion of all the riots, and disorders that are committed in the winter season, 'tis these that entice servants left behind to get into their debts, and then sell them to the sloops that are bound to New England, that one can't give it a better term than kidnaping of those poor miserable people, so that what by the compulsion and tyrany of the one, and exaction of the other, both servant and planter are glad to transplant themselves to any place, where property and moderate dealing is better maintained then here, for certainly 'tis nowhere less regarded. This has made servants so scarce, that the Fishery in all its branches is sensible of it; first, the servants from hence make higher demands of wages then formerly, a boat's master six or seven years agoe would ask no more for the season then 12 or 14 pounds, and now 'tis a common demand to ask 20, 25, and sometimes 30, and the same of other servants in proportion, as fore-ship-men, midshipmen, splitters, and salters etc., which increase of wages has raised the price of fish very much, so that looking back six or seven years, it will be found that 25, 26, 28 ryalls was a large price for fish, whereas now 35, 36 are accounted easie rates, and the present year will raise it to 38 or 39 ryalls the quintall: so that all these ill consequences hang upon the disorderly seizures of commandrs. of ships in the summer, and the exaction of Irish, and New England factors in the winter; and once secure them from these grievances, I might venture to affirm, it would give a very profitable turn to the Fishery, and very much of the complaining against New England ships carrying off their men would cease. 'Tis likewise necessary I acquaint their Lordships, that tho it is reasonable for them to believe that the authority, that by Act of Parliamt. is given to the Admirals of Harbours, is sufficient to secure them peace, and quietness, and to prevent any disturbance that may happen to the detriment of the Fishery, yet the experience of anyone that has but once known this trade, will affirm, that was it not for the yearly expectation of a ship of war coming among them, the power of their Admirals would be of little regard, so that one may modestly affirm, they only commence regulation, upon the arrival of any of H.M. ships, and lay it down the moment they are gone, upon which account several go and come with the Trade, which charge I believe they would gladly be freed from, could they be secure of good order in the winter; besides there are other things that plead the necessity of a civil magistrate to reside amongst them, the New England ships, that lye here till our Trade is sail'd, are then under no restraint, and carry away what men they please, who hide in the woods and wait that opportunity of being carry'd off, for the preventing of which, I have obliged (and shall continue to do the same, during my stay here) every master of a New England vessell to enter into bond with me, that he carrys no man out of the country, unless in the case of death, that then he be allowed to make up his complement for the working of his ship, but otherwise under the penalty of £10 forfiture to H.M. for every man carry'd off the Island, and the bond to be of no effect, upon his making oath at any Custom-house in New England, that he has comply'd with the obligations, of which I give him copy. This expedient of securing the Fishery, I have presumed upon, and hope it will be approved by their Lordships for the present, till a better is established; the ships contribute very little to this ill practice, and should they attempt it, we can in a good degree prevent and discover them, but this fault is intirely from another quarter, from planters, servts. and by boat keepers' crews, who when their masters make a bad voyage, are left unpaid, and so can't purchase a passage home, and how to make enquiry into it here, is impossible, for ships may be answerable for their companys, but when they shall carry about 150 or 200 passengers each ship, belonging to by boats, and land them (by agreement between them) in one place, and the ship frequently design'd to fish in another, 'tis then impossible the ship can be answerable to carry the same passengers back again; but were good order once settled, 'twould soon ease our thoughts, and trouble, for preventing things of this kind, for 'twould so much engage the people to settle, that, 'twould rather draw people from New England, then New England from them: 'tis for want of this (I believe) for I know no other cause it can so reasonably be charged upon, their Trade here of late has vastly sunk, as is very obvious from this, and last year's accounts of trade. Last year there was 70 sack ships in the country, and this year not above 18 or 20 at most, and how much more from the same occasions it may continue to fall, their Lordships can best judge, and prevent, etc. I presume to recommend to their consideration such an officer likewise as a Register, for vouching debts, and contracts, and booking the same, to be a moderator between the buyer and the seller, and a checque on monopolizers, and extortioners, to be apply'd to, for understanding what engagements any person lyes under, so that the merchant may know who is who, and who is not worthy of trust; and poor people then would want opportunity of running themselves deeper in debt, then their labours can discharge, to the ruin of themselves, and servants, and even to an entire dispair of ever freeing themselves, which has made many a laborious man desperately resolve upon lazyness, to the publick detriment as well as his own: Sir, if I have been tedious, 'tis from my good wishes to so valuable a branch of the trade, for thô corruption of late (since the New England factors [or rather suttlers] have settled amongst them) has pretty much sunk the value of trade, and people; were I to enumerate to their Lordships what tricking baseness, and knavery, these people were guilty off, it would make a large volumn; yet it may be easily recover'd by good order and discipline if soon apply'd. I thought proper to give their Lordships this early information, that if some expedient is not thought of, by next season, to prevent what I have here complain'd of, this trade will be of very little value by that time. In my next letter I shall be more particular in my complaints. 15¼ pp. [C.O. 194, 5. Nos. 99, 99 i., ii.; and 195, 6. pp. 123–143.]

Footnotes

1 = Landgrave.