America and West Indies
October 1715, 17-30

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Institute of Historical Research

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Cecil Headlam (editor)

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1928

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314-327

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'America and West Indies: October 1715, 17-30', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 28: 1714-1715 (1928), pp. 314-327. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=73970 Date accessed: 27 November 2014.


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October 1715, 17-30

Oct. 17.647. Mr. Bridger to Mr. Popple. On Saterday last I recieved my Instructions from Mr. Secretary Stanhope's office, the season of the year being past and the ships gone that designe for New England at present. I have taken my passage in the ship that will sayle first for New England, etc. Signed, J. Bridger. Endorsed, Recd. 17th, Read 18th Oct., 1715. Addressed. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 866. No. 70.]
Oct. 18.
St. James's.
648. Order of King in Council. A ship is to be sent to the Virgin Islands to report, as recommended 9th Sept. The Council of Trade and Plantations are to report upon Capt. Walton's further petition, enclosed. Signed, Christo. Musgrave. Endorsed, Recd. Read 1st Nov., 1715. 1 p. Enclosed,
648. i. Petition of Capt. John Walton to the King in Council. Proposes to accompany the ship sent to the Virgin Islands. His knowledge of those Islands will save the expence of many months. Prays H.M. to grant him a competency for such service, etc. Copy. 1¾ pp. [C.O. 152, 10. Nos. 72, 72 i.; and 153, 12. pp. 357—361.]
Oct. 18.
St. James's.
649. Order of King in Council. Order in accordance with Representation of 16th Sept. relating to John Dean's ship. v. 16th Sept. and A.P.C. II. No. 1241. Signed, Edward Southwell. Endorsed, Recd. 8th, Read 16th Jan., 17 16/17. 1½ pp. [C.O. 152, 11. No. 36; and; 153, 12. p. 480.]
Oct. 20.
Whitehall.
650. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Stanhope. We have considered the letter from Commadore Kempthorn, relating to the state of the Newfoundland trade and fishery (v. Oct. 13). We agree with him that it is necessary the several particulars he complains of be remedyed as soon as possible. We further think, that even to preserve the trade of Newfoundland, it is absolutely necessary some new regulations be made by Parliament; and in order thereunto it will require that we consult not only such persons as are conversant in that trade here, but also the merchts. of the out-ports, after the return of the ships from thence, and that we have some discourse with Capt. Kempthorn upon his arrival or at least, that we shou'd see the other letter which he promises to write upon the same matters. Therefore we give you this trouble, that you may not think it long before you receive from us a full answer to your letter, which we shall endeavour to prepare time enough to prevent such abuses in the next fishing season. [C.O. 195, 6. pp. 144, 145.]
Oct. 24.
Virginia.
651. Lt. Governor Spotswood to [? Mr. Secretary Stanhope.] I take this occasion by the Nightingale man of war to transmitt to you the proceedings of an Assembly which has but too truly verifyed the conjectures I made of them in my last. After so bulky a Journal as that of the Burgesses is, one might have expected more than three inconsiderable Acts from their session; but such was their temper and understanding, that they could not be reason'd into wholesome laws; and such their humour and principles, that they would aim at no other Acts, than what invaded the Prerogative or thwarted the Government; so that all their considerable Bills stopt in the Council. To give you a just summary of their five weeks work, I need only refer you to the speech which concludes the Journals, and which I calculated chiefly for the information of those to whom I am obliged to give an account of the transactions of this Government, wherein the several unaccountable schemes they had form'd, and their whole proceedings thereupon are faithfully sum'd up, and told them in so publick a manner, as will leave no room to doubt the truth of the matters of fact: and after such a behaviour in the House of Burgesses, as is there truly represented, I hope the expressions will not appear too severe, nor their dissolution too unadvised. Yet after all, I have the satisfaction to acquaint you that the Colony is in an entire tranquillity: the late Representatives have the mortification to find their proceedings condemn'd by the generality of the People, and especially all men of sense and honesty: and the frontiers, however left unguarded by their perverse humour, are still free from the least disturbance of the Indians. Some days ago, the chief men of the Indians who formerly sent in hither to sue for peace came back according to their appointment, but not bringing with them the chiefs of severall of their neighbouring towns, as they had promised, I have sent them back without coming to any Treaty. They excuse the absence of the other Indians, upon their doubting the reality of my passport, as being under a different seal from that which they had been accustomed to see from this Colony, but assured me that if they were fully satisfyed of my sending to 'em they would immediatly repair hither. Whereupon to remove their scruples, having by me a blank with impression of the old Seal upon it, I have sent it, and am not without hopes of bringing them still to a Treaty. In the mean time I have agreed with the Indians who came hither, that while they continue to behave themselves peaceably towards all H.M. subjects of these Colonys they shall not be disturbed from hence, but that they are not to expect any trade untill a peace be concluded, which I hope will not be long before it is accomplished, their necessitys of all manner of goods being very great. The Government of South Carolina have sent hither two Gentlemen to treat for a further assistance of men, but I'm sorry to find that the ill usage of those already sent has disabled me from answering that request; for notwithstanding the signal service the men sent from hence did to that Province by defeating a body of 700 Indians who had fallen upon the Southern parts of the country, while the Governor and all the forces of his Government were on an expedition to the Northward, yet that seasonable service (tho' it preserved a great part of their country from destruction) has not obtained them common Justice in any one article promised them; and the clamours from thence are such that I am perswaded I could not find one man in this Government now that would list in that service; But this treatment of the Virginia forces may be accounted for from the different scituation of their affairs now, to what they were when these forces were sent; the Indians since this last defeat, not appearing upon their frontiers; However as it is but a bad return of the friendship of this Government, so I'm afraid it will have as ill an effect upon the dispositions of other Governmts. to assist one another in ye like occasions. I should by this conveyance have sent you the state of H.M. Revenue of 2s. per hhd., but it falling so low that the established sallarys due last Aprill are not yet paid, the Receiver General could not compleat any accompt thereof. I did not fail to recommend to the late Assembly the supplying that deficiency, but you will find by the resolves of the House of Burgesses of the 8th of August that they plainly declared they would do nothing therein till they had an answer from H.M. to their Address about the Quitt-rents. I need not repeat to you, Sir, what I have formerly represented of the inconveniency a Government without money is exposed to, especially in any dangerous conjuncture; but you will be pleased to give me leave again to beg your interest for obtaining so much of H.M. bounty out of the Quitt-rents as will set this Revenue upon an even foot. And if H.M. will be pleased to do me the honour to signify that it is at his Governor's intercession and representation of an extraordinary juncture of affairs and not upon the application of the Assembly (especially since this last House of Burgesses have behaved themselves so undutifully) it might be a means to prevent such sollicitations for the future, and make it the more easy for me upon some favourable accident, to prevail with the Assembly to establish some additional fund for the support of the Government: since the present fund must necessarily decrease, the more the inhabitants of this country fall into trades, their vessels being exempted from the payment of all those dutys by which it is raised. P.S. Here is advice of a considerable event in these parts, that the Spanish Plate Fleet richly laden, consisting of eleven sail, are, except one, lately cast away in the Gulf of Florida to the southward of St. Augustin, and that a barcolongo sent from the Havanna to fetch off from the Continent some passengers of distinction, who were in that Fleet, having recovered from the wrecks a considble. quantity of plate is likewise cast away about 40 miles to the northwd. of St. Augustin. I think it my duty to inform H.M. of this accident, which may be improved to the advantage of H.M. subjects if encouragement be given to attempt the recovery of that immense treasure. Signed, A. Spotswood. 3 pp. Enclosed,
651, i. Copy of Proclamation for the better regulating the signing and certifying propositions and grievances to the General Assembly. Signed, A. Spotswood. Williamsburgh, Aug. 24, 1715. 2¾ pp.
651. ii. Copy of Minutes of Council of Virginia, Feb. 23—Sept. 7, 1715.
651. iii. Copy of Minutes of Councill in Assembly of Virginia, Aug. 3—Sept. 7, 1715.
651. iv. Acts of Virginia, 1715. 4¼ pp.
651. v. Journal of House of Burgesses of Virginia, Aug. 3—Sept. 7, 1715. [C.O. 5, 1342. Nos. 3, 3 i.–v.]
Oct. 24.
Virginia.
652. Lt. Governor Spotswood to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I herewith transmitt to your Lordps. the proceedings of an Assembly more remarkable for their votes than their Acts. I have already acquainted your Lordps. with the occasion of my conveening them, and the several matters I laid before them at their meeting: but instead of answering those ends I proposed, after a session of five weeks, at the expence of nigh 350,000 lb. of tobacco, for the pay of the Burgesses and their officers, they have only pass'd the three laws here inclos'd, which being so inconsiderable, I shal not trouble your Lordps. with any observation upon them. Refers to Speech at close of Session, "wherein I sum'd up all their proceedings; which summary I made purposely for your Lordps' information, and arose to speak it openly in the presence of the Council, and the whole House of Burgesses that the truth thereof might be the less doubted at your Lordps.' Board: and after such a behaviour in the Burgesses as is there represented, I hope you will not judge the expressions too harsh, or the dissolution of such an Assembly too unadvised. Your Lordships may observe in the Burgesses' Journal some extraordinary resolves, especially those of Sept. 2nd, whereby they have aimed at laying me under certain imputations: but since they themselves find they have therein so grossly erred from truth and good manners, that almost every Burgess now disavows the resolves and denyes that he went into them. I shall not trouble your Lordps. with any further vindication of myself, than barely referring to my messages of 19th and 27th Aug., for setting forth that point in contest which related to ye two Justices (Mr. Littlepage and Mr. Butts) and shall content myself with the Council's message on 7th Sept., for clearing my conduct from the aspersions which the Burgesses cast upon it: not doubting but the Council's resolves upon the Lower House's proceedings will give your Lordships a pretty just idea of the justice, veracity and good manners of the late Representatives of the People. And as to the Bills they had prepared, thô I confess I was resolved to reject them, if they had come so far as to be presented to me, yet their encroachments upon the prerogative of the Crown, and their injustice to their fellow subjects was so evident therein that the far greater part of the Council threw out their Bills without putting me to the trouble of a negative. I have on former occasions represented it to your Lordps. as the misfortune of this country, that the bulk of electors of Assembly-men, consists of the meaner sort of people, who besides their inclination to favour men of their own stamp are more easily imposed upon, by persons who are not restrained by any principles of truth or honour, from publishing amongst them the most false reports, and have front enough to assert for truth even the grossest absurdities. This has been practiced by some on former elections, but by none so much as the late members of Assembly; who finding tobacco to be now valuable in hopes of making great advantages, by their sallary, thought it worth their while to take extraordinary pains to secure their election, while gentlemen of better understandings and more plentifull estates, not tempted with the same desire of gain, despised making their court to the populace by such vile practices, and by that means were disappointed of representing their county, except in two or three countys. Besides, these mobbish candidates always outbid the gentlemen of sense and principles; for they stick not to vow to their electors, that no consideration whatsoever shall engage them to raise money, and some of them have so little shame as publickly to declare, that if in Assembly, anything should be proposed, which they judged might be disagreeable to their Constituents, they would oppose it, tho they knew in their consciences that it would be for the good of the country. To remedy this evil in the Legislature is what my thoughts have been bent upon, and after proving it to be incurable by the direct way of an Assembly, I have at length fallen upon a stratagem by which I hope to work the cure. I have observed that the law by which the Burgesses claim their allowances, does no more than declare that they are entitled to 130 lb. of tobacco pr. day; And thereupon I have caused to be printed and dispersed the two inclosed querys: This caution I understand is like to prevail upon the County Courts, and by this means I expect to bring either the Burgesses' allowances to pass every Session in the Book of Claims, or they to submitt to a new law which lessens the temptation of mean necessitous fellows serving in Assembly. Some of the Indians I formerly mentioned to have made overtures to this Government for a peace have been again here; but as they did not bring with them the chief men of all the Nations in confederacy with them, I did not think fitt to proceed further in the Treaty, lest by opening a trade with them, the other neighbouring Nations should by their means be supplyed with ammunition and enabled to continue their hostilitys. The reason these Indians gave, why the other Nations did not send their Deputys at the same time, was upon a doubt made by one of their great men whether the orders sent from hence really came from me, because he observed the Seal different from those he had seen come from this Colony," etc. as preceding. Continues:—Here are now two gentlemen come as agents from South Carolina, to treat with this Government for a further assistance of men: but the treatment those already sent have found there, has entirely disabled me (thô I were never so willing) to afford them further succours; for tho the chief encouragement for raising the men here, was the promise of that Government to send hither an equal number of slaves to work on their Plantations during their absence, yet not one hath been sent, nor any great prospect of their being sent at all, so as to do the service expected of them: Another condition was, that the Virginians should be commanded by their own officers, and should act in one body, but even that also is broke, the Governor of Carolina not allowing of my Commissions, and dispersing the men into garrisons remote from one another. And in short almost every one of the Articles are violated, and such complaints from the men, of ill usage, in respect of the pay and cloathing promised them, that I am perswaded I could not find one man in this Colony that would engage in that service. And as this body of 150 men sent to South Carolina is the first assistance of that kind which I can understand has been given by any of H.M. Plantations here to the other, so I am afraid the great discouragements this hath meett with will make it the last. And it is the more ungratefull in the Government of Carolina to treat our men in this manner, considering the signal service they have done them; for while the Governor had drained all his garrisons for an expedition against some Indians to the North West, about 700 Indians fell upon the Southern parts of the Province, and destroyed all before them, within a few miles of Charlestown; but the forces sent from hence arriving just at that time, immediatly march'd, mett with and defeated that body of Indians; and 'tis to them that the preservation of the rest of the country is owing: but the treatment of the Virginia forces may be easily accounted for from the alteration of the Carolina affairs, which are not now under the unhappy scituation they were in, when these men were raised; for since the last defeat, the Indians appear no more on their frontiers, and the Northern Nations ceasing their hostilitys and sueing to this Government for peace, 'tis probable the others will soon follow their example. Repeats part of gist of preceding. I have long since taken notice that this Revenue (2s. per hhd.) must necessarily decrease, the more the inhabitants fall into trade, seeing their vessells are exempted from the payment of all those dutys by which it is raised. This consideration has made me almost every session, to recommend to the Assembly the raising some other fund as an equivalent; but I find there's no reasoning against interest, the exemption of Virginia owners from payment of dutys is too beneficial a priviledge to be parted with; And since the laying any tax whatsoever, even in the greatest necessitys is hardly to be compassed, while the humour of the People is more intent upon private benefite than the publick safety or honour of the Government; your Lordships will judge how little a Governour's endeavours assisted only by his own hearty inclinations is likely to prevail for supplying this deficiency, unless some other means be used to oblige the country to support its Government, which I must leave to your Lordps.' consideration. Signed, A. Spotswood. Endorsed, Recd. 25th Jan., Read 16th May, 1716. 5 pp. Enclosed,
652. i. (a) Copy of Proclamation for continuing all officers within the Government of Virginia, in accordance with H.M. Proclamation of Nov. 22, 1714. Williamsburg, Feb. 23, 1714 (15). Signed, A. Spotswood.
(b) Copy of Proclamation for taking off the restraint on exporting corn and other grain. Dated and signed as preceding.
(c) Copy of Proclamation for dissolving the General Assembly of Virginia. Dated and signed as preceding.
(d) Copy of Proclamation for taking up persons coming out of Carolina without passports. "Whereas the Governor of North Carolina hath represented that divers of the inhabitants of that Province being apprehensive of an Indian war are preparing to leave, whereby those that remain will become a more easy prey to their enemies, etc., inhabitants of North or South Carolina coming into the countries bordering on North Carolina without a passport from the Governor of North Carolina, during the present apprehension of danger from the Indians, are to be taken up and delivered to some magistrate of that Province," etc. June 15, 1715. Signed, A. Spotswood.
(e) Duplicate of No. 651 i. The whole endorsed as covering letter. 6½ pp.
652. ii. Account of the Public Tobacco, Xtmas, 1714—7th Sept., 1715. Receipts, 83, 125 lb. Expenditure, 80, 536. Endorsed as preceding. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 1317. Nos. 30, 30 i., ii.; and (without enclosures) 5, 1364. pp. 351–362.]
Oct. 25.
Antego.
653. Lt. General Mathew to the Council of Trade and Plantations. There being but seven gentlemen members of the Council of Antigua, and one of them Coll. Oliver being by illness now render'd incapeable of almost ever attending at that Board; I have been forced by advice of the Councill to swear a new member, Lieut. Coll. Valentine Morris, a gentleman who has the honour to command H.M. Regiment in these Islands; has besides a very considerable interest here and who, besides his being a man of very good learning, is known to be of steady principles in behalfe of his King and country. Mr. Duport Agent for Saint Christophers attends your Board with three Acts, I have passed for that Island; the first is an Act to regulate the Militia; there was no such Act in force when I came to the Government; the Preamble sufficiently showes the vast necessity of having such an Act, and the great detriment it has been to the Island the discontinuance of one; the former Acts of this nature were very lame and insufficient, I am very well satisfied the amendments I have got made in this, will not a little contribute to the settlement and security of that Island. The second Act is to ascertaine the bounds of settlements already made in the French part of that Island; that Act is but temporary, and determines when H.M. shall order the final disposeal of that part of the Island; In the meane while this Act was necessary to put me in a way of providing for several new settlers that came daily to the Island; which otherwise I could not do, by the unreasonable greediness of people who kept possession of greater tracts of land than their former grants intended them. The third is an Act to prevent the exportation of sugars from Saint Christophers to Nevis; this Island has long labour'd under a vast disadvantage for want of such an Act; nor can any reason be given why this Act should not be confirm'd by H.M.; without doubt it is a prejudice to Nevis; and before the French part of Saint Xtophers. was confirm'd to England by France, the dangerous roads might be a reason for shipping to come rather to Nevis; But now the whole Island is H.M. Island, shipping do come willing to Basseterre, which is little inferior to Nevis Roade; and for their security I have rais'd a battry of nine gunns; By this meanes the people of Saint Christophers will be supply'd with goods, which were formerly brought to them no farther than Nevis; and consequently will have them at 6 or 8 pr. cent. cheaper; shipps will alwayes think it worth their while to come for their loading, and it must alwayes be thought very unreasonable that Nevis, a very inconsiderable Island in comparison of St. Christophers, should have the benefit of being supply'd with all manner of goods cheaper than their neighbours, from whence they even draw halfe the quantity of sugar that pay for such goods, and only raise from thence an immediate unreasonable benefit of 6 or 8 pr. cent., which they impose upon the inhabitants of Saint Christophers. Herewith likewise is an Act pass'd at Montserat to repeale a former Act entituled ye six pound Act; the reasons that were given me for giving my assent to that Act, was, the poor condition that Island was reduced to by the French, which is worthy H.M. pity; and that he would please to oblige the French to make good that Article of the peace which relates to them. I was surpriz'd at my first arrival in these parts, into giving my consent to an order of Councill at Saint Christophers, for the raising of the vallue of French Crownes from 6 to 7 shillings that country mony; but I since find ye 38th Article of the Instructions cautions me from making any alteration in the vallue of coines without H.M. leave; I shall direct the discontinuance of that order till I have leave from home, thô the raising the vallue of that coine is of advantage to us, by drawing cash from the French Islands hither; and seven shillings is and alwayes has been the vallue of French crownes at Antego. Mr. Duport waites upon you with a copie of the Minutes of the Councill of Montserat from the 4th of July to the 1st Oct., 1715, the Minutes of the Councill of Antego from 30th June to 29th Sept., 1715, and the Minutes of the Assembly of Antego, 13th July— 27th Sept.— the remaining Minutes of the Councills and Assemblys of these Islands are not as yet compleated nor sent me by the several Deputy Secretaries. Herewith is a roll of the Militia of Saint Christophers and Antego; the like rolls from Nevis and Montserat are not as yet remitted to me. I am satisfied there must be more white men in these Islands; When the new Militia Acts take place, ye rolls will be more exact; I have sent besides an account of all ye guns and warlike stores in these Islands; and thereto have added an account of such stores as are absolutely necessary for the safety of these Islands in case of a war. The Naval Officer's account of imports and exports from St. Christophers, Montserat and Antego, 25th June—25th Sept., 1715, will be deliver'd with these other papers; I am forc'd to send these accounts that I have without the others, the time being already elaps'd prescrib'd in the Instructions, and this being the last oportunity of sending this season. Signed, William Mathew. Endorsed, Recd. 23rd March, Read 5th June, 1716. 2¾ pp. Enclosed,
653. i. Account of guns and warlike stores in the Leeward Islands, 24th Oct., 1715. Same endorsement. 1 large p.
653. ii. Roll of the Militia (a) of St. Christophers, 10th Aug., 1715. Total, Horse, 106; Foot, 467; (b) of Antego, Total, Horse, 86; Foot, 752. Same endorsement. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 11. Nos. 3, 3 i., ii.; and (without enclosures) 153, 12. pp. 388—394.]
Oct. 25.
Barbados.
654. Governor Lowther to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Acknowledges letter of 27th Sept. and refers to his own of 20th May, etc. Your Lordships will in some measure understand in what temper I found the people, and in what condition the civil and military affairs of this Government was in upon my arrival here, by perusing the Council's representation to me upon that head (Minutes of Council, 28th May). The Military Force of this country consists of 6 regiments of foot, two of horse, and a troop of Gards. Mr. Sharp soon after my departure from this Island cashired the Colonel of the Gards, and five of the other eight Colonels, with their Lieutenant Colonels, Majors, Captains and the other inferiour officers: He also displac'd three of the four Judges of the Common Pleas, a Master in Chancery, the Treasurer, the Storekeeper of the Magazine, the Surveyor General, the Coroners, and most of the other inferiour Ministers: He also alter'd the Commission of Peace, dissolved the General Assembly, and suspended Mr. Frere (a gentleman of six thousand pounds a year sterling) from being of the Council. The great uneasiness and dissatisfaction that these alterations occasioned were extreamly heighten'd not only by the persons the several offices and places were supply'd with, and the unusual resort of many of the principal inhabitants of Martinique to this Island, but also from the extraordinary and unwarrantable civility that was shewn the French in permitting them to view the fortifications and to sound the roads and bays: The people were likewise justly offended with the insolent temper and ungrateful return the French made to the great kindness and respect many gentlemen shew'd them upon Mr. Sharpe's account: There's one instance so very remarkable that I can't omit acquainting your Lordshipes with it: Mr. Edward Hooper Lt. Colonel to Brigadier Hallet invited the French gentlemen to his house, and gave them a most magnificent entertainment; They praised his house, and gardens, and run great encomiums on the situation of the place, but before the entertainment was quite over, one of them told Mr. Hooper, that he did not doubt, but he should be master of that estate in a twelvemonth's time, and that then he would return his civilities, by making him and his friends as welcome there, as he had done him and his companions. I think it my duty to acquaint your Lordshipes that notwithstanding it is declar'd in the Preamble to the Treaty of Commerce That since their Majesties had applyed their minds (by the disposal of the Almighty) to the study of Peace, they had been both moved with an earnest desire to increase the advantage of their subjectes which are to arrise therefrom by reciprocal liberty of navigation and commerce which ought to be as well the principal fruit as establishment of Peace, yet I find nothing in the said Articles relating to the West-India Trade, nor have I any Instructions upon that head: indeed the King's subjectes in this part of the world are almost in as bad a condition in relation to foreign trade as they were during the war; several attempts have been made to open a trade with the Spainards, but to no purpose, nor do I think it possible to be effected so long as the French have such an absolute influence and ascendency over the Spanish Counsels and Government. About two months ago one Mr. Lowden an inhabitant of this place went to Trinidad with a cargo of such English manufactures as was proper for those people; the Spainards resorted in great numbers on board his sloop, and agreed with him for his whole cargo, as likewise to pay him for it as they took it away, but before he had deliver'd a third part thereof, two French sloops that rode at anchor some small distance from him interrupted the trade, and would not permit the Spainards to have any further dealings with him, and he was forc'd to leave the place, for fear of being seiz'd by the said sloopes, in fine, the French behave themselves like Lords paramount over this part of the world and treat the Spainards just as they think fit: They have diverted the old channel of trade, and have carry'd it from the North to the South Sea: heretofore Cartagena, Portobel and Santa Fe used to be the chief marts where most of the European commodities were vended, and the Spainards on the Southern part of the Continent resorted with their silver to those places to buy what they wanted, but the French now supply them by Panama and the other partes in the South Sea. I herewith send a copy of my letter to M. Du Quesne etc. He hath promised me that the Intendant will do the parties justice in whose behalfe it's writ, etc. I desire your Lordshipes to signify to me on the subject matter of his letter, for I have no Instructions relating to it tho' Monsieur Du Quesne possitively affirmes that I have: if H.M. shall think fit to forbid his subjectes to trade at Martinique, I submit it to your Lordshipes whether it will not be necessary to have a law made to restrain them, for in time of peace, I know no law against it, nor is there any law that makes them lyable to any forfeitures or penalties if they import no prohibited commodities hither. I humbly conceive it would be of great advantage to this place, and to all H.M. sugar Colonies, if there was a law made in England to restrain His subjects in North America from exporting horses into any country that's not under H.M. Dominion, for the French at Martinique and Guardalupa, and the Dutch at Sorronam begin to rival us in the sugar trade, and this is owing in some measure to the great supplies of horses they frequently receive from New England, and other partes of that Continent, for as we grind the sugar-canes with wind-mills, so they are necessitated to do it by an engine that's drawn by horses and cattle. As it is of the last importance to this place, and to all H.M. Sugar Islands, to have the African Trade speedily put upon a right establishment, and as it is an affair of greater consequence to England than everybody imagines, so I hope this Ministry and Parliament won't postpone it, or think it a work unworthy of their consideration. I have prevail'd with the General Assembly to raise mony for the payment of the publick debts, and to put the carriages belonging to the great artillery, and the fortifications into repair, as also to make a proper provision for the gunners and matrosses, and I hope the several laws relating thereto will meet with your Lordshipes' approbation. There was a law made about six years ago impowering a Committee consisting of four members of the General Assembly and three of the Council to receive, audit, and settle all publick accounts from time to time, and to finally determine and adjust the same, by which law, the Governours of this place are excluded from intermeddling therein. I have given strict directions for taking exact listes of the number of the white inhabitants within this Island, and so soon as I receive the same shall transmit them to your Lordshipes. I have too much reason to believe that too many of the Planters are faulty in not keeping their proportionable number of servants according to the acres of land they possess, but we have this matter under deliberation, and I hope to bring it to such an issue as will be to your Lordshipes' satisfaction. The several species of stores belonging to the Government (all but powder) have been purchased by the country, and that is annually supply'd by a duty that [that] was laid some years ago on shipes that trade hither: the consumption of powder proceeds from returning the salutes of shipes that arrive here, and the discharge of the great ordnance on Festivals and other solemn occasions. I presume your Lordshipes may understand from others besides me that the spirit of contention and faction that raged here for many years is intirely asswag'd, but it's fit I should informe your Lordshipes that this happiness is greatly owing to H.M. dismissing Mr. Sharp and others from the Council Board here and by the absence of one Mr. William Walker who hath been not only a common nuisance to this country, but hath done it more prejudice than all he hath in the world will atone for, tho he's esteemed to be worth no less than £25,000 sterling, which is all acquired in less than 10 years, and chiefly by intrigueing, mischief-making, and other indirect and wicked wayes. Returns thanks for their promises of support, etc. P.S. The fortifycations are so exceedingly out of repair that they will require much mony, labour-and care to put them into order: all affairs of this nature were heretofore carry'd on and managed by the Commissioners of the Fortifycations in the several districtes and divisions, which consisted of all the Field Officers, the Members of Council and General Assembly that lived in each district or division, which are five (viz.) Ostins, Bridge, Hole, Read's Bay, and Spikecess, and the Colonels in each of these Divisions received and disburst the mony that was raised from time to time to repair the fortifycations in each of the said respective districtes or divisions but instead of applying it to that use the greatest part of it was either sunk, or so imprudently laid out that the Publick received little or no advantage by it: I therefore thought it absolutely necessary to alter this method of proceeding, and upon mature deliberation thought it most advisable to intrust the chief management of this affair to six gentlemen under such limitations, directions and restrictions as are mention'd in the Act impowering me to appoint them: Their principal business is first to consult with the Commissioners of the Fortifycations in each division, what timber, utensiles, and other materials will be wanting to repair the fortifycations in their division, and then to make as reasonable and as good contractes as they can with the merchantes etc. and artificers and labourers necessary etc. The Commissioners in each Division are to inspect and supervise the work, and when the contractors have compleated their respective contractes to certify the same to me to the end the contractors may obtain an order from the Council and me on the Treasurer, etc., and care is taken in the Levy Bill to oblige the Treasurer to punctually pay the said orders. Signed, Rob. Lowther. Endorsed, Recd. 23rd Feb., 17 15/16, Read 25th Jan., 17 16/17. Holograph. 8 pp. Enclosed,
654. i. List of papers enclosed in preceding. 1 p.
654. ii. Governor Lowther to M. Du Quesene, Lt. General of the French American Islands and Terra firma at Martinique. Barbados, Aug. 22, 1715. I send this letter by Capt. Charles Constable, Commander of H.M.S. Roebuck, etc., to acquaint you that Benjamin Curtis Esq., and Company subjects to the King of Great Brittain had a sloop called the Martha taken the fifth instant by a French sloop near Sta. Lucia in sight of Martinique, which together with the cargo amounts to the vallue of £2,000 pounds sterling, and that Daniel Updike master, and Bernard St. John supercargoe and the crew were put naked on Sta. Lucia without any sustenance but had the good fortune some small time after to be transported to Martinique, etc. St. John hath deposed the persons on board the sloop which took him were all French and told him they were not pirates but came to declare the warr first. He hath also deposed that upon his arrival at Martinique he made his misfortune known to the Governmt. and desired a Commission to go in quest of the said sloop, he having then an English sloop at his command, but this just and reasonable request was denyed him. That some small time after this a French sloop arrived at Martinique with some negroes etc. which he knew to be part of his cargo, which he claimed, and applyed to M. Vaucresson for justice, who refus'd to take any notice of the said claims. But told him he would confiscate the sd. goods and negroes to the King and that the only service he could do him was that he might have the liberty to buy any of the said goods at publick sale, etc. I pray your Excellency not to insist upon little punctilios and niceties of law but cause such part of the negroes etc. to be deliver'd to Capt. Constable, as you shall conceive upon the hearing of the cause were taken out of the Martha, etc. Signed, Rob. Lowther. Recd. 23rd Feb., 1715 (16), Read 25th Jan., 17 16/17. Copy. 2 pp.
654. iii. M. Du Quense, Governor of Martinique, to Governor Lowther. Fort Royal, Martinique. I have received repeated and strict orders from the King not to allow any foreign trade. I know that you have the like from the English Court. Yet our coasts and roads are filled every day with your ships coming to trade, which obliges me to beg you to give your attention to it, and absolutely to forbid coming hither all those who are under your Government, etc. If however any vessel in its course should have urgent need of help, I will cause it to be given unhesitatingly, with proper precautions; but I am forbidden to allow any such in our roadsteads for more than 24 hours, etc. Signed, D[uquesnes ?]. Same endorsement. Copy. French. Torn. 1 p.
654. iv. Copy of Commission appointing six commissioners to make contracts for the repair of the fortifications of Barbados. Pilgrim, 24th Oct., 1715. Signed, Rob. Lowther. Same endorsement. 2½ large pp.
654. v. Account of the stores of war in the magazines of Barbados, 4th Nov., 1714—19th July, 1715. Signed, Wm. Downes. Same endorsement. 1 p.
654. vi. List of negro slaves imported into Barbados 24th April, 1714–1715. Total, 5,259. Signed, Hen. Lascelles. Same endorsement. 1 p. [C.O. 28, 15. Nos. 1, 1 i.–vi.; and (without enclosures) 29, 13. pp. 353–370.]
Oct. 25
Whitehall.
655. Mr. Popple to Mr. Attorney General. Summarizes petition of M. Durepaire (v. 8th Oct.). The petitioner's wife was the widow of M. Maigne, the French King's Lieut. of St. Christophers. Mrs. Maigne retired with the French in 1690, and when they were restored, returned with them and enjoyed her estate, retiring with them again in 1702 and living at St. Thomas'. She was not at that time reputed a Protestant, tho' Durepaire affirms she is one now. This case seems very different from that of the French Refugees who were obliged to abandon their estates in St. Christophers upon account of the persecution of the Protestants, and retir'd to the English etc. The Council of Trade and Plantations desire your opinion, whether, considering the Act of 12th and 13th William III. for the further limitation of the Crown etc., and the Act pass'd the last Session of Parliament to explain the forementioned Act, H.M. may grant the lands petition'd for to Mr. Durepaire, supposing neither he nor his wife have been naturaliz'd before H.M. accession to the Throne ? P.S. And whether the claim of right of Mrs. Maine by descent from her ancestors was not destroy'd by the 12th Article of the late Treaty of Peace, whereby the French part of St. Christophers is absolutely ceded to the Crown of Great Britain, both on the part of the Crown of France and of its subjects ? [C.O. 153, 12. pp. 354–356.]
Oct. 25.
Custom ho., London.
656. Mr. Carkesse to Mr. Popple. The Commrs. of the Customs being informed that by an Act passed in the Assembly of Conneticutt, eight ports are established; and that by another Act pass'd there the Navall Officers appointed by the Governours are impower'd to enter and clear all vessells both inwards and outwards, and to give certificates for clearing bonds as well as for performing all parts of the duty of the Officers of the Customs. They desire copies thereof, etc. Signed, Cha. Carkesse. Endorsed, Recd. 25th, Read 28th Oct., 1715. Addressed. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1265. No. 9; and 5, 1292. pp. 473, 474.]
Oct. 28.
Whitehall.
657. Mr. Popple to Mr. Carkesse. Reply to preceding. I do not find any of the laws of Connecticut of the purport mentioned, etc. [C.O. 5, 1292. pp. 474, 475.]