§ 1 GENERAL.
Secretaries of State.
After the failure of the Jacobite Rebellion was
assured, Mr. Stanhope accompanied the King to Hanover
(July, 1716). Negotiations were there begun with the
Regent Orleans, and were concluded in the following
January by the signing of a Triple Alliance between
Great Britain, France, and Holland. It guaranteed those
clauses of the Treaty of Utrecht which referred to the
Protestant Succession in England, the French Succession,
and the renunciation by the Spanish King of his claims
on the French throne. This compact, and a defensive
alliance with Austria, involved the antagonism of Spain,
which issued in the war of 1718. In 1717 Charles XII of
Sweden, having formed an alliance with Spain, joined with
Alberoni in a projected invasion of Scotland on behalf of
the Pretender. The plot was discovered in England and
averted. In Stanhope's absence the conduct of colonial
affairs was entrusted to Paul Methuen. Lord Townshend
remained at the head of the Ministry at home, whilst the
Prince of Wales acted as "Guardian of the Realm and
Lieutenant" (263, 265, etc.). Townshend's opposition
to the foreign policy of the King and Stanhope, combined
with his championship of the claims of the Prince of
Wales as Regent, and his resistance to the demands of
greedy German courtiers, led to his dismissal. In
announcing the safe return of the King (January, 1717),
Methuen informed the Governors of the Plantations that
Stanhope had been appointed Secretary of State for
the Northern Provinces, whilst he himself succeeded to
the direction of the affairs of the Southern Province
(454). Three months later, when Walpole and Townshend passed into opposition, Stanhope succeeded the
former as Chancellor of the Exchequer. Sunderland
took his place as Secretary of State for the Northern
Province, and Addison succeeded Methuen (535, 536).
The famous Whig writer had already served for over
a year as a Commissioner for Trade and Plantations,
long enough, that is, to make him well acquainted with
the problems of the Colonies, and also with the working
of the office of the Council of Trade (2). It will be seen
that, as the result of that experience, he lent a ready ear,
as Secretary of State, to suggestions from that Board.
One of his first steps was to direct the Board to remind
Governors once more of their Instructions to transmit
regular accounts of the Revenue in the Plantations
Addison had been Chief Secretary of Ireland in 1708,
and Secretary to the Lords Justices on the accession
of George I. There is a traditional story that when he
was promoted to the latter office, this accomplished and
versatile essayist and pamphleteer found himself quite
incapable of composing a letter to the King without the
assistance of a clerk. The routine of each office has, of
course, as Macaulay observed "some little mysteries
which the dullest man may learn with a little attention,
and which the greatest man cannot possibly know by
intuition." (fn. 1) On such points Addison might well require
some prompting. But with his experience of previous
offices, and the knowledge drawn from over a year's work
at the Board of Trade, a man of Addison's literary ability
cannot now at any rate have needed any clerk at his elbow
to help him in drawing up a State Paper. Certainly the
documents here printed, many of them written in his
own hand, exhibit just that lucidity and simplicity and
that easy adoption of appropriate official directness,
without any attempt at literary ornament, which one
would naturally expect from such a master of style. The
wit and humour of the Spectator would be as out of place
in the dispatches of a Secretary of State as the eloquence
of Cato. Instead we find simple and straightforward
statements of policy and facts with no trace of fastidiousness.
Congratulations on failure of the '15.
All these events and changes had their repercussions
over-seas. Loyal addresses came from Jamaica and the
Leeward Islands, from Carolina, New England, New
York, New Jersey and Virginia, congratulating the King
on the failure of the Jacobite Rebellion, the success of his
foreign policy, and his safe return (97 i., 118 x.–xii., xiv.,
165 i., 192, 192 ii., iv., v., 203 iv., v., 589, 607, 626). The
"Friends of Popery and arbitrary power" were denounced (118 xii.), and the Ministers of New England,
assembled in their annual convention at Boston, with
Cotton Mather for Moderator, expressed their "detestation of the late new hellish plot." They acknowledged
the "King's goodness and justice to the Protestant dissenters," and hailed him as the "light of the Morning
and the breath of their nostrils" (589). Associations in
support of the Crown and the Government against "the
horrid and detestable conspiracy of Papists" had been
formed in Jamaica (27 i., 203 iii., iv.), and New York
(133, 133 ii.).
Rebel Prisoners transported to the Plantations.
A large number of the rebels who had been taken
prisoners at Preston were transported to the Plantations.
Directions were given by the Secretary of State to the
several Governors for securing them on their arrival and
seeing that they were disposed of as indented labourers,
bound to serve their masters for seven years, according
to the terms of their pardon (128, 129, 144, 145). The
Council of Jamaica particularly requested that some of
these prisoners should be sent thither immediately (203 i.).
They were sent to Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina,
St. Kitts and Jamaica. Lists of these prisoners, numbering 639 in all, are given (309–314). Some, on arriving
in Maryland, refused to indent or ran away from their
masters, and a Proclamation had to be issued by the
Governor for their arrest (543, 543 i., ii.). One or two
favoured individuals, after being assigned as indented
servants to Lord Carteret, were immediately granted
their liberty and recommended to the friendly offices of
the Governor of South Carolina (202, 215, 222, 223).
Everywhere the problem of increasing the white
population by means of the import of indentured labour
was coming to the fore (651 etc.). Joshua Gee represented
that the supply of white servants had decreased of late
owing to an abuse of the Statutes for preventing persons
being sent beyond seas without licence. The abuse of
kidnapping or "spiriting away" to the Plantations of
persons to be sold as indentured servants is well-known.
But Gee reveals a trick by which merchants and shippers
were being prosecuted for transporting genuine unemployed servants who wished to go to the Colonies, and
were thus being prevented, by fear of falling into the
hands of rogues, from "assisting thousands of people
that are industriously inclined." He proposed that
persons transporting servants directly to the Plantations
should be exempted from prosecution under those
statutes, and that "six governors of Bridewell or the
Workhouse" should be empowered to sign warrants
for the exportation of youthful pickpockets (505).
Petitions in French.
It will be noticed that petitions to the King began now
to be written in French. The Hanoverian King could
not speak English, and his Secretary, the Robethon to
whom Walpole so strongly objected, was a Frenchman
Relations with the French.
The French continued their fortification of Cape
Breton and their fishing along the coast of Nova Scotia
(51, 154). On the mainland they were pressing forward
with the new colony of Louisiana, and their extension from
Quebec down the Mississippi to Mobile "on the back of
all the most valuable British Plantations" continued to
excite apprehension, particularly in Carolina, where they
were suspected of having stirred up several of the Indian
nations to take part in the war (230). The Governor of
New York once more urged the Assembly to take measures
for defence "against the evil day to come," in view of
"the vast preparations in France for settlements behind
you along the Messasipi and the neighbourhood of a very
considerable garrison and sea-port at Cape Breton"
Effect of the New Alliance. Revolt at Martinique.
On the other hand the effect of the alliance with France
was soon felt. When a revolt broke out in Martinique
as the result of an attempt by the new Governor to
collect arrears of taxes, orders were sent to British
Governors, at the request of the Regent Orleans, that
they should not only prevent any assistance being given
to the rebels but should even "pursue such further
methods for discountenancing and discouraging the revolt,
as may be consistent with your authority, and without
prejudice to His Majesty's service" (640, 677). The
new alliance was also expected to put an end to French
interference with British trade with the Spaniards, of
which bitter complaints had come from Jamaica, for the
French were now prohibited from trading to the Spanish
Dominions in America (572). A similar prohibition was
extended to the commerce of French settlements with
those of any other nation. British vessels, suspected of
trading at Martinique, were seized by the new Governor
General, a proceeding which provoked a protest from the
Governor of the Leeward Islands (568, 568 i.–iv.).
Foreign trade prohibited by the French.
The prohibition of trade between the French and
English Plantations was in accordance with the Treaty
of Neutrality of 1686. The Governor of Barbados had
declared himself at a loss in the matter, not finding any
law to forbid such trade. When Archibald Cumings,
the Custom House Officer at Boston, drew attention to
the large importations of Dutch, French, and Danish
sugar, rum, and molasses into that port, the Council of
Trade enquired of the Commissioners of Customs whether
there was any such law (297, 389, 486, 486 i.). Being
assured that there was not, they then raised the question
whether the Treaty of Neutrality was still regarded as
being in force (393, 463). They were instructed that
it was, and ordered to remind the Governors of Plantations
that it was their duty to prevent such illegal trade in
accordance with the 5th and 6th Articles of that Treaty
Mr. Cumings' proposals.; A tax on foreign imports and a Stamp tax.
Mr. Cumings, in his above-mentioned report, made
two proposals, the adoption of which at a later date was
destined to have very far-reaching results. Observing
that imports from foreign Plantations into New England
paid no duty, whilst the products of the British Sugar
Islands (except Jamaica) were handicapped by the 4½
per cent. export duty, he suggested that foreign commodities should pay an import duty of that amount. A
revenue of £1,000 a year might thus be raised (297) for
defraying the expenses of the Civil Establishment, and
this revenue might be increased by setting up a Stamp
Office (297, 486). He submitted a return of imports from
foreign plantations. Cumings was commended for his
accounts and suggestions, and invited to continue them,
whilst the Council of Trade, on taking the matter into
consideration, presently requested a return of foreign
imports and exports for the last three years from the
Governor of New England (486 i., 578, 579).
Resumption of Charter Governments urged.
Cumings urged the resumption of the Charter Governments
as being "all enemies to the prerogative" and
opposed to the Admiralty Courts. All officers appointed
by the Crown were looked upon as a burden and imposition
upon them, and it was only in the Admiralty
Courts that the revenue officers could expect justice in
putting the acts of trade in execution. The act relating
to wool in the Plantations required amending on this
point. As for Providence Plantation in Rhode Island
Government, "no notice was taken of the Sabbath, but
employed in revelling" (297, 486).
All this, be it observed, was written in 1716 and 1717.
It shows how long those seeds had lain in the ground
which came to fruition half a century later.
The Wool Act.; Jurisdiction of the Admiralty Courts denied.
Cumings' complaint with regard to the Act to prevent
the exportation of wool, etc. was, that the Courts of
Common Law denied the jurisdiction of the Admiralty
Courts in the recovery of forfeitures under that act,
which prohibited the exportation of wool or woollen goods
manufactured in the Plantations. But the Attorney
General, on being consulted by the Council of Trade,
upheld the action of the colonial Courts of Common Law
as being in accordance with the provisions of the Act
(297, 390, 399).
Charter Governments.; Gaudin's indictment.
As to the Proprietary Governments, whilst the inhabitants
of South Carolina were again and again urging
the resumption of their Charter to the Crown (v. §2),
vested interests had brought their influence to bear
upon the Committee appointed by Parliament to prepare
a bill to resume the grants of Proprietary Governments.
Stephen Gaudin, therefore, writing as a British merchant,
with whom, "as with all lovers of their country,
the improvement of the Navigation and encouragement
of the manufactures of Great Britain" weighed most
heavily, offered as the strongest reason for such action,
"the unequal taxes laid upon the manufactures, trade,
and shipping of Great Britain." British merchants, he
complained, were treated by Proprietary Governments
as foreigners in their own Colonies. This was an infringement of their Charters, and unless they were forfeited,
"they may truely be termed Independents of the Crown
and Laws of Great Britain, as is often asserted in those
Relations with Spain.; Piracies and reprisals on the Spaniards.; Seizure of Logwood cutters by the Spaniards.; Spaniards and Indians at St. Augustine.
Relations with Spain were less happy than with France.
The Fleet of homeward-bound galleons was wrecked off
Vera Cruz in the Gulf of Florida (27 i., 308). Vessels
were immediately fitted out from Jamaica and other
Colonies to fish upon the sunken wrecks for the vast
treasure they contained. Some of these vessels sailed
under commissions for the suppression of pirates, and
being heavily armed, proceeded themselves to commit
acts of piracy upon the Spaniards on the coast of Florida
and Cuba (158, 158 i.–vii., ix., 175 i., 203, 240, 240 i.–iii.,
300, 308, 308 i., ii., 357 (h), 408 ii., iii., 409 i., and see
Jamaica). These acts, however, were represented as
being to some extent reprisals for the great losses caused
by the seizure of British vessels by the Spaniards (203,
357 (h), 359 i., 677). Spanish ships, whether with or
without commissions as guarda costas, had for some time
been seizing British vessels passing on their lawful
occasions, either on the grounds that they were attempting
to trade with the Spanish settlements, or on the pretext
that they had on board some Spanish coins, which were,
of course, the current money of the Plantations. No
satisfaction could be obtained when restitution was
demanded, until, towards the end of 1716, a new Governor
of Havana promised redress (27 i., 118, 203, 240, 308,
308 i., 339, 339 ii., 357 (h), 409 i., 595, 595 iv.). About
the same time the Spanish Ambassador presented to
the Secretary of State a memorial demanding the withdrawal of the British from the Laguna de Terminos,
which they frequented for the purpose of cutting and
exporting logwood. Their right to do so in that and
other places not occupied in the Province of Yucatan
had long been upheld, and by "right sufferance or indulgence" seemed clearly established by the Treaties of
1670 and 1713. Spain now declared that unless they
withdrew within eight months from that time they would
be treated as pirates (388 i.). But within a month of
the presentation of this memorial, a Spanish squadron
acting under the orders of the Viceroy of Mexico, sailed
into the Bay of Campeachy and seized twenty-four
ships and sloops (five of them Dutch) which were loading
or about to load logwood in the harbour of Triste (del
Carmen). This port and the Laguna de Terminos the
Spaniards proceeded to settle and fortify. The British
masters of ships, after protesting against being treated as
pirates and asserting that they had lawful clearances,
demanded the release of their ships and goods, but were
only granted a pass for themselves and crews in a small
ship (Nov., 1716). Their account of the affair was
placed before the Secretary of State (484 i.–x., 546, 570),
together with other complaints against the Spaniards
(429, 429 i.–vi.). For the Carolinians complained bitterly
that both the Spaniards at St. Augustine and the French
had not only stirred up the Yamassee Indians to attack
the British and provided them with arms, but also
protected them when they sought refuge in Florida, and
refused to deliver up the prisoners, slaves and cattle
brought in by rebel Indians. This, it was urged, was a
direct breach of the first article of the Treaty of Utrecht
(239 iii., 413, 413 i., iv., 601). The Spanish Governor,
however, denied the sale of arms to the Indians, and as
for protecting refugees, he regarded them as Spanish
subjects returning to their old allegiance to the
Catholic King (545 i.).
Seizure of Virginian privateer.; Increase of pirates.; Action by H.M.S. Scarborough.; Admiralty Instructions.
But perhaps the most high-handed action was the
seizure upon the high seas by a Spanish man-of-war
of the Virginian privateer commissioned by Lt.-Governor
Spotswood to investigate the settlement of pirates in
the Bahamas (595, 595 i.–iv., v. infra, p. xv.) Apart
from the piratical or semi-piratical activities of privateers,
whether British, Spanish, French or French with Spanish
commissions (95), the increase of pirates in the West
Indies had become a grave problem (308, 518, 518 i.–v.,
595, 595 iv., 596, 661). The losses of the merchant
service were severe, and the dislocation of trade no
less so. Trading vessels could not leave Jamaica and
the other islands without convoy. The Governor of the
Leeward Islands was prevented from visiting the various
parts of his government for lack of a man-of-war of
sufficient strength to face the pirates who hovered off
his coasts and Barbados. The American coast from
Florida to New England was similarly infested (66 i., 68,
118, 118 ii., 203, 213, 224, 240, 240 i.–iii., 267, 308, 308
i.–iv., 350, 352, 359 i., 411, 411 i., 419, 425, 425 i.–iii.,
v., 476, 484, 526, 527, 546, 548, 568, 570, 595, 595 i.–iv.,
629, 658 iv., 661, 666, 677, 690). Some of these gentry,
indeed, professed not to attack British vessels, but to
confine their attention to foreigners (240, 240 i., ii., 635).
Others for the most part stood in little fear of the King's
ships on the West Indian stations, which were often
partially disabled for lack of men or by foul bottoms.
The Governor of Barbados, indeed, reported that the
King's ships were commonly confined to harbour for
two-thirds of the year owing to sickness, death and
desertion of their seamen. Their Captains could not
compete with the merchant service in obtaining recruits,
nor were they permitted by the late act to press mariners
in the West Indies. Lowther therefore proposed that
they should be given "a legal regulated power" for
impressing in emergencies (661). In spite of these
handicaps, however, Scarborough, reinforced by a detachment of soldiers from the regiment in the Leeward Islands,
succeeded in bringing some of the pirates to book in the
harbour of Sta. Cruz (411, 425, 425 i., iii., v., 484, 568,
595, 661). But he had only been able to sail after
the Governor and his friends had put up a purse to
help him to engage sufficient seamen to navigate his
ship. The attention of the Admiralty was called to the
demands for an increase in the strength of guardships
(203, 411, 474, 484, 568, 595). The Council of Trade was
informed of the dispatch of men-of-war, and of the
instructions issued to their Commanders to co-operate
with Governors in the quest and destruction of pirates
(489). None the less, the Captain of H.M.S. Swift, when
asked to cruise against pirates, had informed the Governor
of Jamaica that he dared not stir without orders from
Pirates' haunts and rendezvous in the Bahamas.
A description of the chief haunts of the pirates, their
characters, nationalities, and some of their brutalities, is
given by the acting Governor of Jamaica (411, 411 i.).
Their principal place of rendezvous was in the Bahamas.
Fortifying Harbour Island, they proposed to make it a
second Madagascar (240 i., 595, 677). Here came such
notorious pirates as Hornigold, Stillwell, Barrow, Jenings,
Fernandez, Burgiss, White, and Thatch, either to settle
or to divide their booty, whilst Ham chose Beef Island
for his headquarters. They terrorised the inhabitants of
Providence Island, Barrow and Hornigold proclaiming
themselves Governors of the place and protectors of
pirates (240, 240 i., iii., 425, 425 i., iii., v., 595, 596, 635,
639 i.). Captain Thomas Walker and many of the inhabitants were forced to leave Providence (240 i., iii.,
596, 635). The number of the pirates was increased by
those Jamaican privateersmen who, having committed
acts of piracy against the French and Spaniards, fled
thither when proceedings were begun against them (203,
240, 240 i., 359 i., 408 iii., 411).
Samuel Bellamy commanded a ship of 26 guns, a
Bristol merchantman which he had captured off the
Bahamas when homeward bound from Jamaica. He had
also a sloop of 14 guns, a force too great for the "small
bauble" of a guardship at the Leeward Islands to
tackle. After visiting the Virgin Islands, he was cast
away off Cape Cod. Only two out of a crew of 120 were
saved. The Madeira wine found on board a ship they
had just taken proved their undoing. Bellamy had
taken all the crew, with the exception of one man and a
boy, out of the prize, and put seven of the pirates on board.
But, according to the story told in Boston, "the pirates
in both vessells regaled themselves so liberally with
madera that they all got drunk and ran their own
vessel on shoar" at Nossetts Bay. The man and boy
on board the captured ship, seeing the seven men drunk
and asleep on deck, seized the opportunity to run the
vessel ashore. The seven pirates were secured and
taken prisoners to Boston (425 iii., 484, 568, 595 i., 629,
639 i., 666, 677).
Trials of Pirates.
Governors were much exercised by the problem of what
was to be done with these "rovers" when captured, for
their Commissions for trying them under the Act for the
more effectual suppression of pirates, had expired. Revival
of the Act was suggested (411, 661, 677, 678, 690).
Hunter plainly declared that a New York jury was
unlikely to convict, "be the evidence ever so plain and
clear" (690). Writing from Virginia, Colonel Spotswood
urged the dispatch of a sufficient force to protect the
trade and dislodge the pirates from the Bahamas, and
also the offer of pardon to those who should make their
submission (240, 595). He himself, as holding a Commission of Vice-Admiralty for the Bahamas, on receiving
information of the state of those islands, commissioned
a sloop to sail thither and make enquiries as to the
strength and designs of the pirates who were congregating
there (240, 240 i.–iii.). This sloop was seized by a Spanish
man-of-war off Bermuda, its goods sold and its crew
made prisoners without trial and without any attention
being paid to the instructions and credentials of its
commander (595, 595 i.–iv.).
An affray in Carolina.
A commission issued to a privateer in South Carolina
led to a clash between the Governor and Colonel Rhett,
Surveyor-General of Customs, and the Commander of
H.M.S. Shoreham over the contents of a prize, the Lt.-Governor firing at Captain Howard, a Lieutenant offering
to shoot the Governor, and Col. Rhett and other officials
giving a remarkable display of rough manners and
language (267, 268, 273).
Report upon measures for suppressing pirates.; Proclamation of pardon.
In December, 1716, the Council of Trade was commanded to consider the best course for dislodging the
pirates from the island of Providence. In the following
February they answered by referring to their former
representations and the need of settling the Bahamas.
The problem of dislodging the pirates was rather one for
the Admiralty (408, 408 i.–iii., 418). In February they
again called the attention of the Secretary of State to the
reports of the settlements of pirates in the Bahamas and
Virgin Islands (473). Mr. Addison presently repeated
Methuen's demand for a report from them upon what
measures should be taken for suppressing pirates in the
West Indies, moved thereto by a petition from the
merchants of Bristol (587, 587 i.). The Board, after
consulting with the merchants (v. Journal, 31st May,
1717), recommended the immediate despatch of a
sufficient naval force, and that Governors of Plantations
should be empowered to issue Proclamations granting a
general pardon to all pirates who should surrender before
a given date (596). A Proclamation to this effect was
ordered to be drawn up (649).
Naval Stores.; Proposal for encouraging.
The encouragement of the production and export of
Naval Stores continued to be the subject of anxious
consideration (19). Many interviews at the Board of
Trade are recorded in the Journal. Merchants trading
to New England proposed that the import duty on timber
should be removed, ships be convoyed, and seamen
engaged in this traffic be exempt from pressing (21). A
bounty on imported timber was also suggested (487).
Another proposal was that hemp seed should be distributed gratis and taxes in New England be payable in
tar (22, 472, 510 i.). On behalf of South Carolina it was
suggested that all naval stores should be admitted duty
free, and that the importer should be allowed a bounty
(488). For Virginia, the payment of quit-rents in naval
stores was proposed, and the prompt payment of the
premiums allowed, which should be extended for twenty
years (506, 507).
Certificates of quality.
Certificates as to the excellence of New England masts
were submitted, in one case of a ship named the
Lusitania; and of New England iron and Carolina tar
(14, 17, 18, 26, 33, 478, 487, 508 i.). Bounties upon
Plantation hemp and iron were also suggested (505,
Board of Trade Report.
In January, 1717, a report upon the whole subject was
called for. Accounts of imports were collected (23, 459,
460, 461 i., ii., 464 i.–iv., 465, 487), and after considering
the views of the merchants, Colonial agents, and the
Navy Board, who objected to the payment of the premiums by the Navy, the Board of Trade presented a
comprehensive survey of the problem on 28th March
(515 i., iii.). Their recommendations followed in general
the suggestions indicated above, and included the
granting of a premium on imported tar and cast iron.
They concluded by proposing that the several Assemblies
should be recommended to take steps for the encouragement of these industries.
Waste of Woods.
In the meantime, complaints continued as to the waste
in H.M. woods in New England of masts fit for the Navy
and their export to Spain and Portugal (19 i., 33).
Mr. Bridger re-appointed.
Mr. Bridger, Surveyor-General of the Woods, proposed
an amendment of the Act for the preservation of pine
trees so as to cover the waste of young trees (510 i.).
His commission had been renewed, but a stop had been
put to his salary through the intervention of the Admiralty, which represented his office as being a useless
expense to the Navy. At the same time, however, they
recommended that the Governor of New England should
stop the waste of woods (13 i., ii.). The Council of
Trade pointed out the weakness of this suggestion and
emphasised the necessity of a Surveyor-General, and
Bridger's fitness for the office (33). Their representation
had its effect, and the Secretary of State, in announcing
his re-appointment to the Governors of New England,
New York and Virginia, reminded them that it was their
duty to support him in the execution of his office (436,
Settlement of disbanded soldiers.
The production of Naval Stores was one of the inducements offered by the disbanded officers and soldiers when
they renewed their application for a grant of lands for
settlement between Nova Scotia and Maine. They
estimated the cost of settling such a Colony at about
£30,000 and proposed to repay this sum, if advanced by
the Crown, in Naval Stores (485 i., 495). Subsequently
they offered to transport themselves at their own expense (528). They admitted that this region lying between the St. Croix and Maine, had been included in the
charter of New England, with a reservation to the Crown
of the right of granting lands. But they argued that by
the surrender of Pemaquid to the French, its reconquest
by the British in 1710, and the neglect of Massachusetts
to rebuild that fort, their right had lapsed to the Crown
Claim of Massachusetts to the tract between Penobscot and Kennebec Rivers. Other claims and petitions for grants.; Capt. Coram's proposal for Georgia.
The Massachusetts Government, however, asserted its
claim to the tract between Penobscot, Sagadehoc and
Kennebec rivers, and demanded that in any grants of
land in the Eastern part of New England, it should be
expressly reserved to the proprietors (412, 576, 583, 584,
593). Other claims were advanced by the Duchess of
Hamilton, on behalf of the Duke (594), Sir Bibye Lake
(591), and Col. William Partridge. The request of the
latter for permission to make a settlement, and for the
confirmation of a purchase of lands made by him was
regarded with favour by the Massachusetts Government.
It was granted, on the conditions proposed by the Board
of Trade, providing for the reservation of mast-trees for
the Navy, forbidding the export of naval stores to foreign
parts, and requiring the completion of the settlement
within a stated time (249, 249 i., 286, 291, 291 i.–ix.,
301–303, 305, 340, 592). These claims were answered
by Capt. Thomas Coram (599), who had previously
supported the scheme of the disbanded soldiers, and
now submitted a proposal on behalf of himself and the
Marquis de Wignacourt, and other French gentlemen.
Twelve hundred families, it was represented, were ready
to sail as soon as a patent should be granted, and to found
a colony between Nova Scotia and Maine to be called
"the Royall province of Georgeia." The patent was to
be vested in trustees, one of whom, the Earl of Berkeley,
was to be the Governor. He was to nominate a Patentee
as Lt.-Governor, who with the rest of the Court of Patentees, was to form the Council. The Assembly was to be
annually chosen by freeholders and other inhabitants
(567, 577, 582). The opinion of the Solicitor-General
was invited as to what were the rights of the Crown in
the lands in question (600). The scheme, it will be
noticed, as well as the name bears a close resemblance
to the subsequent foundation of Georgia in which
Coram was associated with Oglethorpe.
Patent Offices; grants of reversions.
The Council of Trade continued their endeavours to
secure the proper execution of patent offices (123). But
the system of deputies grew in spite of them. Leave of
absence was freely granted to the patentees (59, 191,
307), and offices were bestowed in reversion and for two
lives (168, 189).
The Governor of the Leeward Islands complained that
the Admiralty had issued orders forbidding the hoisting
a Governor's flag when on board H.M. ships. Apart from
his dignity as Governor in Chief and Vice-Admiral, he
represented that the flag was of service as a warning of
the Governor's approach to the several islands under his
administration. The Admiralty, however, refused to
withdraw their prohibition (541, 638, 641).
New Commissioners for Trade and Plantations.
Some important new Commissioners were appointed
to the Board of Trade in January, 1716, and in July, 1717,
when Thomas Pelham, Daniel Pulteney, and Martin
Bladen succeeded Sir Jacob Astley, John Cokburne, and
Joseph Addison (2, 647).
Scrutiny of Acts and Sessional papers.
An indication of the close scrutiny to which the acts
and sessional papers of the several Colonies were subjected
is given by the instructions issued to Governors that all
such papers should be abstracted in the margins (177).
Mr. Popple's petition.; Alured Popple.
The insecurity which the intrusion of politics into the
Civil Service brought to its officers, is demonstrated by
the petition of William Popple. As a reward for his
services as Secretary of the Board of Trade, he asked for a
grant of a plantation which formed part of the quarter of
St. Kitts recently won from the French. Among his
merits he mentions his staunch adhesion to the cause of
the Protestant Succession, a devotion which had nearly
cost him his place. For when the Jacobite coup d' état
was being prepared, just before the death of Queen Anne,
his place had actually been offered to another. The
Council of Trade in supporting his petition gave their
Secretary a strong testimonial. He prides himself upon
having resisted the temptation of receiving voluntary
gratuities, and having contented himself with the bare
income of his salary (236 i., 266). His son, Alured
Popple, was appointed a junior Clerk in the Office in
March, 1717, and William Byrd in June (v. Journal,
March 22, June 5).
§ 2 THE AMERICAN COLONIES.
South Carolina. Governor Craven.
Governor Craven having returned from S. Carolina,
he was promptly called upon to account to the Secretary
of State for the property of the Marquis de Navarres,
taken by a pirate and alleged to have been detained by
him (34, 34 i., ii., 40, 41, 53, 56, 208, 304, cf. C.S.P.,
Robert Johnson appointed.
Robert Johnson, son of Sir Nathaniel Johnson, was
appointed to succeed him, and his appointment was
approved by the Crown (372, 414, 500).
The Assembly request protection of the Crown.
The Assembly, after congratulating the King on the
failure of the rising of the 'Fifteen, again petitioned that
the colony should be taken under the immediate protection of the Crown (97 i.). On the eve of his departure
Craven declared that the clouds, which had threatened the
destruction of their land, had blown away. The position
had, indeed, improved. For peace had been made with
the Cherokees, who after being nearly persuaded to join
the Creeks and Yamassees, had finally decided to keep
to their engagement, and had fallen upon the members of
those tribes who were in their towns and massacred them
(97, 239 iii., 287). But the Carolinians remained at
war with fifteen other nations, whilst the French at
Mobile and the Spaniards at St. Augustine continued to
arm and incite the Creeks and Yamassees against them
(97, 230, 239 iii., 413, 413 i.–iv., 545 i., v. § 1).
Causes of the Indian war.
But as to the general causes of the Indian war, Lt.-Governor Spotswood makes the significant comment
that "the Indians have rarely broken with the English,
except when they have received some notorious injury"
from traders, etc. (146); and again, "It is a very general
observation, both here and in the neighbouring Provinces,
that no murders or hostilitys have ever been committed
by the Indians except where the English have given the
first provocation" (522).
Reply of Assembly to Lords Proprietors.
The Assembly therefore continued to insist upon the
necessity of men and money being sent to their relief,
and hastened to express their dissent from the optimistic
statement of Governor Eden, giving their reasons (239 ii.,
iii.). At the same time they answered in detail the statements made to the Council of Trade by the Lords Proprietors, who, they declared, had given them no assistance
and were, indeed, "the sole bar" to their relief (239 i.,
C.S.P., 1715, Nos. 516 i., 517). They again repeated
their request to be taken under the protection of the
Crown (239 iii.). These papers make it clear that the
resumption of Carolina to the Crown was not due to
the initiative of the Board of Trade and Plantations,
as is frequently stated, but to the repeated and urgent
demands of the people of Carolina.
The Agents and the Board of Trade.; Resources of Carolina.
In pursuance of these petitions of the Assembly, their
agents Messrs. Boone & Beresford (with the former of
whom the Lords Proprietors had fallen foul) emphasised
the importance of South Carolina both as producing
commodities "suitable and necessary to the occasions
of Great Britain," and as constituting a South Western
frontier against the French, Spaniards and Indians. They
also submitted a return of the imports and exports of the
Colony (71, 226, 226 i., 230, 284, 407). In another
memorial they presented a survey of the state of the
province, its importance, possibilities, and valuation,
as well as the cost of the war.
Answer of Lords Proprietors.; Repeated petitions by the Assembly, etc.; Grants of Yamassee lands.; Margravate of Azilia.
Incidentally they urged the re-settlement of the
Bahama Islands. The Board of Trade examined them on
these points, and obtained returns of exports of skins and
furs from Carolina and Virginia (207, 210, 211, 219–221,
229, 230, 230 i., 259, 413 i.–v., cf. Journal, 28th June,
1716). The Board then asked the Lords Proprietors for an
account of the state of the Province and of what steps,
if any, they had taken for its security (245). Their
reply was in the optimistic vein of Craven's speech, to
whom they referred the Board. They added that they
had spent several hundred pounds on some arms and
ammunition, which had been sent out (239 ii., 287, 597).
But in August and November, 1716, the Assembly
reported that the war still continued, and that they were
threatened with a new eruption of Indian tribes, which
had already committed outrages in the neighbourhood of
Port Royal. They complained that Virginian Indian
traders as well as the French and Spaniards were
supplying their enemies with munitions of war, and stated
that they had only 1,400 Englishmen capable of bearing
arms to resist many thousands of Indians. They asked
permission to attack those enemy Indians who had taken
refuge at St. Augustine and were there protected by the
Spaniards. A shipload of prisoners from Preston had,
indeed, arrived to swell their man power, and the
Cherokees had compelled the Cuttabas and some other
small nations near to them to make peace. But the cost
of the war and devastation and abandonment of plantations were bringing the Colony to the verge of ruin.
Once more they besought the intervention of the Crown,
disclaiming the imputation of the Lords Proprietors that
such a demand was made by a mere faction (128, 407,
407 i., 413, 413 i.–v., 462, 517, 601). In January, 1717,
the Lt.-Governor and Council again appealed to the Lords
Proprietors for succour, representing the situation as
critical (456), and a further petition from the inhabitants
to the King for men was referred in April. The Board of
Trade repeated their enquiries to the Lords Proprietors,
who once more declared that the war was over and minimised the seriousness of the danger (544, 544 i., 569,
597, 601). Lord Carteret's statement in this sense
appears in the Journal (31st May). But throughout
the Spring frontier raids were reported, and Charlestown
was said to be on the verge of starvation. The Creeks,
however, were making overtures for peace. But as they
were mortal foes of the Cherokees, it was a nice problem
how far it would be possible to keep friendship with both,
whilst "assisting them in cutting one another's throats"
(462, 517, 541, 542, 601). But shortly afterwards it was
announced that the Senecas or Mohawks were about to
join the Creeks and, in conjunction with the French
Indians, to attack the Cherokees and Cuttabas, and
that the Creeks had deferred their negotiations for peace
(601). About the same time the case for the resumption
of the Colony to the Crown as prepared by the agents
was offered for the consideration of Parliament (557).
As soon as they heard that the Cherokees were about to
make peace, the Lords Proprietors, hoping that the
Yamassee Indians would soon be driven out and
dispersed, withdrew the prohibition on the settlement of
their lands between the Cambahee and Savannah rivers
which had hitherto been reserves for the exclusive use of
the Indians, so that they might form a buffer between the
white settlers and hostile Indians to the South under
Spanish influence. They stated the terms on which
these lands might be granted, and the Assembly presently
passed an act to encourage the settlement of the Yamassee
lands (72, 413 i.). Later on, the Lords Proprietors
granted "all that tract of land between the rivers
Allatamaha and Savannah" to Sir Robert Montgomery
for the establishment of a new province, independent of
South Carolina, to be known as the Margravate of Azilia
(608, 609). In response to the representations of the
Assembly, who objected to the Chief Justice being on
the Council and having in his gift the office of Provost
Marshall, Nicholas Trott was deprived of his powers
Relations with Virginia.
Apart from their complaints against the Virginian
Indian traders for supplying arms to the Indians (413,
413 i.–iv., 462, etc.), the Carolinians displayed an intense
jealousy of the Virginians. It was even suggested that
their policy was to "have us in a continual war with
our Southern Indians that they may have the whole
trade with the Northern" (413 ii.). This suggestion
was based on Lt.-Governor Spotswood's endeavour to
make peace with the Northern Indians. The aid rendered
to Carolina by the Virginians was belittled, and the terms
on which their troops had been sent were represented
as onerous (413, 413 i.–iii.). They began to negotiate
over the fulfilment of their contract (97), whilst Spotswood appealed to the Board of Trade to compel "that
Government to keep their publick faith" (165, 545).
This the Board urged the Lords Proprietors to insist
upon (319, 619. See also § 1, Pirates).
North Carolina.; Lords Proprietors and sale of lands, etc.; Creation of a seaport at Bath.
The Governors of Virginia and North Carolina arrived
at an agreement for the settlement of the disputed boundary, which was approved by the Lords Proprietors and
awaited the assent of the Crown (45, 45 i., 186, 452 i.).
On receiving the recently revised acts of the Province,
the Lords Proprietors expressed their strong resentment
at the interference of the Council and Assembly by an
act relating to the sale of lands and payment of quitrents. They insisted that the purchase money for lands
should be paid in sterling or equivalent produce, instead
of in Province bills as that act provided, and that tenants
must be held to payment of their quit-rents. They
forbade any further sale of lands in North Carolina.
All future sales were to be conducted at the Board in
London. Assent was given to the creation of a seaport
at Bath. By this development the North Carolina
planters would acquire a much needed port from which
to ship their tobacco crops direct to England. It was a
vital necessity for the prosperity of North Carolina. For
without it, seeing that Virginia prohibited the importation of tobacco from that province, the North Carolina
planters were entirely at the mercy of New England
shippers (293, 294).
A diving machine.
The grant of a patent for a diving machine is mentioned (124).
From Maryland a petition to the Guardian of the
Lord Proprietor is recorded, praying for the repeal of
two acts directed against the Roman Catholic inhabitants,
one excluding them from election to the Magistracy or
Assembly, and the other prohibiting the exercise of their
religion (444, 445, and see § 1, Transported prisoners).
New England. Appointment of Governor Shute.
Joseph Dudley accepted his retirement from the government of New England with a graceful gesture, returning
thanks for the appointment of his son-in-law, Mr.
Dummer, as Lt.-Governor, and welcoming that of Governor Shute who took the place of the recently appointed
Elizeus Burges (126, 127, 391).
Command of Rhode Island Militia.; Instructions concerning Oaths.
In the new Governor's Instructions an alteration was
made in the long standing clause which gave him, in
general terms, the power of commanding the Militia of
Rhode Island. That colony had protested against being
deprived of the command of their own Militia, which
was vested in the Governor and Company by their
Charter. The Attorney-General upheld their right, and
the alteration now introduced restricted the power of the
Governor of New England to times of war or imminent
danger only (112, 131 i., 139, 149, 149 i., 157). Another
change in the Instructions was in the clause relating to
the taking and administering of oaths, so as to include
the oath mentioned in the recent Act for the further
security of His Majesty's person (199, 200, 270).
Custom House Officers' fees.
On the occasion of an act of Massachusetts stating the
fees of Custom House officers, Mr. Cumings drew attention to the discrepancy between them and those of New
York, and suggested that a general scale of fees for all
such officers in the several colonies should be fixed at
home (297, 297 i.–iii.). This suggestion was approved
by the Commissioners of Customs (389, 393).
Lighthouse Act.; Shute's Report.; Lt.-Gov. Vaughan.; Dispute as to powers of Lt.-Governor.
Captain Coram entered a protest against the Act for
building a lighthouse on the coast, as laying a tax upon
British shipping, and failing to provide for pilots (172,
cf. Journal, June 15). Colonel Shute announced that he
had "found all things quiet" on his arrival, and that
the Indians whom he met at Piscataqua in January,
1717, were very well disposed (482). George Vaughan,
however, his Lieutenant Governor in New Hampshire,
was not so well satisfied. In the first place he was surprised and disgusted to find that the paper of suggestions
which he had put before the Board whilst in England,
and which he thought "very conducive to ye benefitt
of this country," had aroused much ill-feeling in that
Colony (316, cf. C.S.P., 1714–15. No. 389 i.). Then,
"after having governed this little Province a year with
all the serenity imaginable," he reports that "civil and
intestine broils" had commenced in New Hampshire.
These, he said, so far as he was concerned, were due to
Governor Shute's reception of the recommendation by
the Council and Assembly of their Lt.-Governor for some
office of profit. Shute apparently regarded this as an
attempt on their part to dictate the choice of their Lt.Governor, and after asking whether they expected to be
treated like Charter Governments, replied to their
recommendation by docking Vaughan of customary
perquisites and powers. The tension between the Governor and Lt.-Governor was increased by the claim put
forward by Vaughan that during the former's absence from
the Province, the Lt.-Governor was empowered by Shute's
Commission to act with the full powers of a Governor.
Fast on occasion of drought in New England.
Shute, on the contrary, would not allow that the Lt.-Governor had any independent power by virtue of
the King's Commission, so long as the Governor was
present in any part of America. Accordingly he gave
orders that no public instrument should be issued in the
Lt.-Governor's name, as Vaughan found when he tried
to alter the wording of a proclamation of a General Fast
on account of a drought in New England. Vaughan
very reasonably protested that he was thus left without
power to take any action in any emergency, however
desperate or urgent, "which is not Latin per my
grammar." He applied for leave to return home in order
to represent these and other grievances (658, 658 i.–iv.).
New York Association.
In New York whilst the majority of the inhabitants
welcomed, as we have seen, the accession of King George,
and joined the Association formed by Governor Hunter
on receipt of the news of the 'Fifteen (133, 133 ii., 192,
192 iv., v., 626), bills of indictment found by the Grand
Jury indicate the activities of some of the minority
(133, 133 iii., iv.).
The Assembly.; Act for resuming extravagant grants proposed.
After the storms of the preceding years, Hunter had
piloted the State into smoother waters. When the
Assembly met in June, 1716, he was able to announce
that he could look forward to "nothing but what is
dutiful and fair in their sessions" (192). In the autumn
he assured the Board that the Province was grateful
for the interest and care shown by them in dealing with
the Naturalisation Act of 1715, and that the New
Assembly, the best he had seen there, would pass another
act not liable to the objections raised to the former one
(96, 348). In writing to the Governor in March, 1716,
the Board informed him that decisions upon his proposals
concerning the erection of a new fort, presents to the
Indians, and an increase of soldiers etc., had been delayed
by the disorder arising from the Rebellion (86, 95, 96).
In reply to his report upon the lack of lands for new
settlers, they suggested that another act for resuming
past extravagant grants of land might have the effect
of releasing the desired territory (96). Hunter answered
that such an act was not likely to be carried in the
He forwarded a map of the country about the great
Lakes, to explain his proposed erection of a fort "at
the great carrying place or Fort Nicholson." This
would prepare the way for building another "at the
entry of the Lakes" (348).
Opposition to Hunter's policy in this and other matters
was voiced chiefly by Samuel Mulford, whom he represents
as one who was always "agin the Government" (348,
348 i.). Mulford had been prosecuted and bound over
for printing and publishing a libellous and seditious
speech delivered by him in the Assembly. He set up as
the champion of Long Island and the country districts,
which, he maintained, were under-represented in the
Assembly. He had himself an axe to grind in the matter
of the Crown rights in the whale fishery, as the Governor
was claiming a royalty on each whale killed. Mulford
went to England in order to air this grievance (348), and
on arrival presented his petitions (348, 605, 686, 686 i.–iii.).
Conference with the Five Nations.
In June, 1717, Hunter held a conference with the Five
Nations at Albany, when he induced them to make
amends for having attacked one of the tribes of Indians
which had been at war with Carolina, but had just
concluded peace (133, 565, 690, 690 i.) This was done
at the instance of Lt-Governor Spotswood, who also
proposed that the Five Nations should send deputies
to Virginia to renew the covenants made in 1685. But,
though Hunter pressed them to do so, the Five Nations
refused to treat anywhere but at Albany. Hunter then
advised Lt.-Governor Spotswood to send deputies to
Albany for that purpose (133, 565, 690, 690 i.–viii.;
and Spotswood Papers II., 257).
Governor Hunter's Leave of Absence.;
The Palatines.; Huter's claim laid before Parliament.; Charles Delafaye.;
In response to an application on his behalf, Hunter was
granted leave of absence to attend to his private affairs
in England, but he did not at present feel justified in
availing himself of it (353, 353 i., 469, 690). He answered
an enquiry as to the reason for the failure of the trees
prepared to produce pitch and tar, by attributing it to
the "unruly and unskilful multitude" of Palatines who
had disobeyed their instructions for tapping them. After
his disappointing experience with them, he was not
inclined to advise a renewal of the project, at least
until they could be instructed by some person skilled in
the methods used in Norway and Sweden (96, 348). He
was more concerned with recovering the large expense to
which he had been committed on their behalf. Papers
relating to them were laid before Parliament (110,
117), and, though for the reason above stated Hunter
was not himself able to attend, his claim for payment was
submitted to the House by his friends (383, 548). On
the other hand, his enemies were hoping that it would
prove his ruin (634 i.), and candidates were suggested as
successors in his Government. The sister and brother-in-law of Charles Delafaye, the capable Secretary of the
Lords Justices, urged their "dear Bro." to obtain it
for himself, representing, no doubt with imaginations
fired by lively expectations of favours to come, that
Hunter had made a fortune, and that the government
with its perquisites was worth many thousands a year.
They paint the Governor's lot in colours so bright that
Hunter would scarcely have recognised it, though his
own hopes for the future were high (405, 405 i., 469, 561,
642). Hunter was a man of literary tastes and the friend
of men of letters of the day. Ambrose Philips, "a good
Whig and middling poet" as Macaulay dubs him, whose
insipid pastorals gave rise to the term "namby-pamby,"
acted for him as Agent in the troublesome affairs of New
Jersey (176 i., 523, 580, 634).
Agents for the Province and for private acts required.
The Council of Trade insisted upon the necessity of
appointing Agents not only to solicit the affairs of both
Provinces, but also to watch the progress and pay the
fees of private acts and Councillors' warrants (103,
New York Juries and Pirates.
The attitude of New York juries towards pirates is
mentioned in § 1.
A list of ships trading to New York from the year
1705 to 1716 is indicated (470).
New Jersey. Agitation for separation from New York.; Union with Pennsylvania mooted. Quakers and Cox's party.; Confirmation of Act qualifying Quakers requested.; The Assembly at Perth Amboy.; Coxe expelled.; Flight of Coxe and his friends.; The Assembly meets at Chesterfield.; The Burlington Plot.
An agitation had been begun for separating the government of New York from that of New Jersey. This was
the work of Daniel Coxe, and followed on the passing of
an act in Lt.-Governor Ingoldsby's time for better qualifying Representatives, which aimed at excluding residents
in New York from exercising the share in the government of New Jersey to which their estates entitled them.
Hunter, who writes in no measured terms of the violent
partisanship of Coxe, asked for the repeal of this act, as
well as that for explaining an act for the support of H.M.
Government, also passed by Ingoldsby. The demand for
a separate government he dismissed as merely a device
for causing trouble (135, 565, 634 i.). But it is significant
that the idea of uniting the Jerseys with Pennsylvania,
if that province were resumed to the Crown, was mooted
by the Quaker party (138 i.). The Quakers, who spoke
highly of Hunter's efforts for moderation and good
government, were firm supporters of his government
(135, 138, 138 i., ii.), whilst Coxe and his party were
closely identified with the traditions of Lord Cornbury
and the efforts of the Jacobite and High Church party,
especially in the Western Division (135, 138, 138 i., ii.,
585, 624). There Coxe, after being dismissed from the
Council, had got himself elected to the Assembly, in
which he was chosen Speaker. He started an agitation
for the non-payment of taxes and the exclusion of the
Quakers from serving on juries in criminal cases. The
refusal to pay taxes was based on the view that the acts
of the last Assembly, which continued for over three
years, were void by reason of the Triennial act. The
exclusion of Quakers was based on the Act of 1st George I.,
which was said to repeal the New Jersey Act allowing
them to qualify by affirmation. Coxe, Basse, and their
friends proceeded to indict the Chief Justice, David
Jamison, and Lewis Morris, the President of the Council,
and Thomas Gordon, the Attorney-General, for directing
the qualification of Quakers for a Grand Jury, on their
interpretation of that act. In order to spike their
guns, Hunter begged for the speedy confirmation of the
new Act for the solemn affirmation of Quakers (135,
135 i., ii., 195 i.). In the new Assembly a majority
adverse to Hunter had been returned, by means, as he
says, "of false suggestions, fraudulent conveyances and
the rum bottle." He promptly dissolved it, and a second
election proved rather more favourable to the Government, the Quakers carrying the County of Burlington
against Coxe. They met at Perth Amboy. The right
of the Governor to summon them to meet there was at
once challenged. Coxe having tried in vain to dissuade
the members of the Western Division from coming to
Amboy, succeeded in carrying an Address for the removal
of the Assembly to Burlington. The Act passed under
Ingoldsby and confirmed by the Crown had fixed all
sessions at Burlington. But by Hunter's Instructions
the holding of alternate sessions there and at Perth
Amboy had been restored, following the arrangement
made at the surrender of the Government by the Proprietors. Hunter, who knew that Burlington was a hot-bed
of the Opposition, declared that he should abide by his
Instructions, and that the appointing the time and
place of sessions of Assemblies was an undisputed prerogative of the Crown (135). This attempt by Coxe's
party to make Burlington the sole meeting place of the
Assembly indicates not only a survival of the division
between East and West Jersey, but also that it was the
centre of the extreme Anglican party. Under the leadership of Coxe and the Rev. John Talbot, they hoped to
see that place the seat of a Colonial Bishop (176). Finding
himself unable to carry his points, Coxe and some of
his friends absented themselves from the Assembly.
The House, being reduced to twelve members, requested
the Governor to order them to attend. Some obeyed,
and a quorum was formed, a new Speaker elected, and
the Serjeant-at-arms was instructed to compel the
attendance of the absent members. When it was found
that they had fled to Pennsylvania, they were expelled
from the House, and writs issued for new elections to
fill their places. The Assembly thus constituted addressed the Governor, praising his continued justice and
moderation, and promising to vote a handsome support
for the Government. Hunter was now able to look forward to a period when the Province would be "as easy
and happy as" New York. The power of Coxe and
Talbot, and "the skulking disaffected few" who had
sought refuge at Bristol, was rapidly dwindling, though
they talked of appealing to the House of Commons
(176, 176 i., 192, 192 i., iii., 195). Their flight from New
Jersey, Hunter explained, was to avoid arrest, which had
been ordered "on information that he and his emissaries
were carrying papers privately round the Provinces for
subscriptions." Coxe and his friend Mr. Bustall then
sailed for England to make their complaint there. Hunter
suggested that before they were listened to, both Coxe and
Mr. Sonmans, who had also escaped from justice, should
first be sent back to be tried in New Jersey (349, 690).
The lines of Coxe's intrigues, and the hopes on which
they were founded, are indicated by two letters of his and
Mr. Bustall's which were intercepted by Hunter (392 i.,
634 i.). In the absence of this "Boute-feu," Hunter
looked forward to a good session when the Assembly met.
Indeed, the defeat of the Cornbury party was complete.
The places of the absent members were filled by new
elections, and formed a house in favour of Hunter and
the Proprietary party. It was now the turn of Burlington for the meeting of the Assembly. But small-pox
was raging there, and Hunter shrank from calling another
session at Amboy. He therefore summoned them to
meet at Chesterfield. It was fortunate that he did so.
For Mr. Talbot revealed the existence of what Hunter
describes as "a most hellish contrivance," a plot to
create a riot against the Quakers there, and to burn down
their meeting house and dwelling houses. Talbot then
made his submission to the Governor, and represented
that he had done good service to the Government by
preventing the outbreak (469, 523, 580 i., ii., 585 v.,
vii., 675 xii.–xiv.).
Quiet restored.; Acts passed.; Coxe's charges against Hunter. Reply to the petition.
Having eliminated Coxe and his supporters, Hunter
was at length able to report (January, 1717), that New
Jersey, which "a year ago was the most tumultuous"
was now "the most quiet and satisfied of His Majesty's
Provinces" (469). The New Assembly made good its
promises, and Hunter returning to New York in February,
could look back upon "a very happy sessions." Acts
were passed for repealing the act for ascertaining the
place of the Assembly (at Burlington), and to enforce
the payment of taxes (349, 469, 523, 585 iii.). £2,000 were
voted for the support of the Government and the payment
of the outstanding bills for the Canada Expedition (585,
585 vi.). But a few weeks later Hunter received the
petition of the "several traders and inhabitants and
Proprietors of New Jersey," in which Coxe embodied
his complaints against the Governor. He immediately
sailed for New Jersey to communicate these charges to
the Council. The Council dismissed them as for the most
part false in fact, whilst those which had any colour of
truth arose out of actions justified by the need for preserving the public peace (585, 588 i.). Hunter himself
replied in detail, and, claiming that he had shown these
accusations to be "false and infamous," asked for a
public declaration of the opinion of the Council of Trade
upon the whole matter. The petition, he averred, was
signed only by insignificant persons, many of whom, as
their depositions showed, were tricked into signing it.
Not content with this reply, he carried the war into the
enemy's camp. Whilst expressing his dislike of "exculpation by recrimination" he plainly stated that if the
Province was not in arms and rebellion, it was not the
fault of Coxe and his friends, who during the last year of
Queen Anne had "rung the peal of the Church in danger
louder than ever it had been rung in England." He
offered evidence of Coxe's close connection with the
Jacobite rebellion, and of the mischievous dealings of
some of his party with the Indians, which the Government had succeeded in counteracting (469, 469 iii.–vi.,
588 i., 674, 675 i.–lxiii., 690).
Nova Scotia. Governor Vetch's Report.; French inhabitants.; Hardships of the Garrison.; Report of Comptrollers of Accounts.; Need of port and naval protection.
At the request of the Board of Trade, Governor Vetch
presented another report upon the fortification, fishery,
and fur trade of Nova Scotia (51). In spite of the pressure
put upon them to move to Cape Breton, the French
inhabitants were anxious to remain on their plantations,
though their loyalty might be doubtful (51, 154, 615).
Incidentally, Vetch drew attention once more to the
hardships endured by the garrison, who were left without
pay, clothing, or provisions, whilst the temptation to
desert was heightened by the good wages obtainable in
the neighbouring Colonies (43, 51, 62, 63). Letters
from Lt.-Governor Caulfield emphasised their wretched
condition (154, 154 i.). In reply to enquiries by the
Board of Trade the Secretary at War stated in March,
1716, that no orders had been issued since last August
for providing their subsistence, owing to the want of
regular muster-rolls. Steps, however, were being taken
to deal with the situation (35, 57, 60, 64, 75, 75 i.). The
dispatch of provisions was ordered and accounts demanded from the Lt.-Governor (185). Shortly afterwards
the Comptrollers of the accounts of the Army presented a
report upon the whole question (615). They proposed
amongst other things, that the Commodore of the Newfoundland Convoy should visit Annapolis Royal and be
commissioned to examine the state of the garrison and
their accounts and complaints. To prevent desertion
to New England ships, it was suggested that the Governor
of New England should issue a proclamation restraining
the inhabitants from harbouring deserters. Turning to
the question of the settlement of Nova Scotia, the Commissioners, acknowledging the assistance of the Board of
Trade, recommended the development of the fishery and
that care should be taken "to make and keep it absolutely
dependent upon Great Britain, and not to suffer it to be
annexed to New England," as had been proposed (C.S.P.,
1714–15, No. 416 i.). The reason advanced is notable,
"For by the manufactures and other improvements
lately made at New England, they not only consume
much less of the products of Great Britain than they
did formerly, but have taken away great part of the
profits of the fishing trade from us, and become dayly
less dependent upon Great Britain, to which a watchful
eye should always be had not only in regard to New
England but all the other Plantations." They pointed
out that the Fishery needed for its protection a good port
and naval force. They therefore proposed that instead of
the large and expensive garrison at Annapolis Royal,
which was too far up the river to afford protection to
the Fishery, a small fort should be erected at Placentia
and smaller ones built and garrisoned at the entrance
to the British river and at Chebucto. They proposed
that an Engineer should be sent to choose sites for such
forts, and that a survey of the timber suitable for masts,
ships' timber, and naval stores should be made by the
Admiralty. Till these steps were completed, they were of
opinion that the present garrison must be maintained, in
order to secure the country against recapture by the
French. A sufficient encouragement for a resident
Governor of Nova Scotia was desirable, in order that he
might win over the French and Indian inhabitants to be
loyal subjects of the Crown, and thus direct their fur trade
into British channels and lead to the firm settlement of
the country without the expense of sending British settlers
thither. Lastly, they recommended that all such distant
garrisons should be relieved every two or three years
John Doucet succeeds Lt.-Gov. Caulfield. Pennsylvania.
Lt.-Governor Caulfield having died in March, 1717,
John Doucet was appointed to succeed him (496, 586).
William Keith succeeds Lt.-Gov. Gookin.
In Pennsylvania Lt.-Governor Gookin had come to
loggerheads with the Quakers and Assembly over matters
not indicated here. (fn. 2) Governor Hunter reported that
he was going home as Daniel Coxe's "Ambassador"
(176 i.). William Keith was appointed by the Penn
family to succeed him, and the approbation of the Crown
was solicited. This was granted upon condition that
good security should be given for his observance of the
Acts of Trade and Navigation, and that William Penn
should renew his declaration that such approbation should
not be construed as diminishing the claim of the Crown
to the Three Lower Counties (337, 337 i., 338, 356, 360,
381, 428, 430). Keith had formerly succeeded Robert
Quary as Surveyor-General of Customs in America, but
had been superceded after the death of Queen Anne.
He had been recommended by Logan and other members
of the Council of Pennsylvania and "a considerable
body of the people called Quakers," to the trustees of
William Penn (344). His appointment was fervently
welcomed (630 i.).
The Three Lower Counties. Petition of the Earl of Sutherland.; Protest by Bristol Naval Stores Company, etc.; Iron mines and bounty.
Whilst the declaration of William Penn concerning the
Three Lower Counties was thus being renewed, a petition
was presented to the King by the Earl of Sutherland for
a grant of those lands on Delaware Bay in lieu of a large
sum of money said to be due to him since the Revolution.
He declared himself ready to prove the right of the Crown
to these Three Lower Counties, and, in referring his petition to the consideration of the Council of Trade, Stanhope
mentioned that the King was favourably inclined to his
Lordship's request (434, 434 i.). The Law Officers of
the Crown were consulted (434 ii., 514). As soon as it
was known that this petition had been lodged, the
Representatives of the Three Lower Counties protested
strongly in an address to the Lt.-Governor against being
separated from Penn's proprietary jurisdiction, with
whose interests their own were identified (620, 620 i.,
621). A similar protest came, through Joshua Gee,
from the Naval Stores Company of Bristol, which had
recently purchased of Penn 3,120 acres in the county of
Kent for the purpose of raising hemp. Encouraged by
the bounties offered by recent acts, this Quaker Company
had already expended a considerable sum on that project.
Gee explained that whilst the inhabitants were contented
with the present administration, they would be well
satisfied also if the surrender of the Government to the
Crown were completed, "knowing the tender regard
H.M. has for all his subjects immediately under the Crown,
of which Barbados and the other islands are testimonies."
But if a new Proprietor were introduced, it would
"frighten away great part of the present inhabitants,
who came there purely to enjoy liberty of conscience
under a Governor of their own persuasion." He mentioned the great quantities of iron mines there, and the
hope of encouragement from the Government for the
erection of iron works (505, 552, 552 i.).
Virginia. Passage across the Blue Ridge discovered.; Spotswood and the Indian Company Act.; Education of Indian children.; Spotswood on intercourse with Indians.
In May, 1716, Lt.-Governor Spotswood announced that
a passage had been discovered through the mountains,
"which have always been looked upon as unpassable"
(146). It is this exploration of the Blue Ridge which
marks Spotswood as the pioneer in the Westward movement. It was a necessary step in the development of
his policy of defence, and of pushing a trade with the
Indians beyond, as a countermove to the French advance
from the North-west. This policy was bound up with
the Virginian Indian Company which he had sponsored.
At the beginning of this period he was able to report
that the most considerable nation of the Tributary Indians
was settling on the frontier about the fort he had built
at Christanna, which was to be maintained by the
Indian Company, and where all the Indian trade of the
Colony was to be concentrated and carried on by it.
The Indians were being encouraged to permit their
children to be educated in the Christian religion, for which
purpose Spotswood had provided a schoolmaster at his
own expense, who had already had one hundred Indian
children under his tuition (45). In reply, the Council of
Trade commended his care for the education of the Indian
children, but expressed their dissent from his policy of
keeping the Friend Indians away from the British
settlements. For they knew "by experience that the
French living amongst the Indians and intermarrying
with them has been one great reason of the Canadian
and Eastern Indians adhering so steadily to the interest
of the French." They commended him for the aid he
had rendered to South Carolina, but reprimanded him
for the tone of his Speech to the Assembly, as being
calculated to cause exasperation, even supposing it
were merited (186). Spotswood's reply is enlightening.
He painted in dark colours the treatment meted out to
the Indians by the settlers on the frontier (cf. § 1), and
insisted on the advantage of regulating intercourse
between them. This advantage had already been demonstrated. For, apart from establishing control over
the supply of arms and ammunition to the Indians,
it had caused a cessation of Indian outrages on the
frontier settlements. As to intermarriage, he knew
of no instance of it, and drew the correct inference that
the racial instinct of the British was against it (146,
Objections to act for better regulating the Indian trade.; Hearing at the Board.; Indian Trade act. Repeal.; Additional Instruction for suspensory clause in acts affecting British trade and shipping.
Objections to this act for the better regulating the Indian
Trade. were, of course, entered by the traders in England
and Virginia whose hands were tied by it (143, 179,
179 ii., 242, 258, 413, 533). Spirited replies to them were
made by Spotswood and the Council (146, 146 i., 166, 206,
241, 522, 530, 530 i., 540). The arguments of both
sides were fully discussed before the Commissioners
of Trade in July, 1716, who decided to leave the act
probationary whilst awaiting a further reply from
Spotswood (v. Journal, 10th July). But in forwarding to
him the papers on the subject, the Board censured the
Lt.-Governor for not having followed his instructions
and having passed an act of this kind without a suspensory
clause until H.M. pleasure should be known (318).
After further representations from the merchants, the
Act was referred to the Law Officers in the following
Spring. The Solicitor-General reported that it was
contrary to law in several particulars, and that the
chief part of it, which excluded persons not of the Company from trading, was contrary to several Acts of Parliament which preserved the right of British subjects to
trade to the Plantations. The Act was accordingly
repealed. But in recommending this course, the Board
of Trade admitted the necessity of regulating the Indian
trade. They therefore proposed that the Governor should
be instructed to submit the question to the Assembly,
and also to recommend that the Indian Company should
be reimbursed for such expenses as they should appear
to have been at for the public benefit (559, 610, 625,
687, cf. Journal, 10th May, 1717, etc.). They also
proposed, on the occasion of reporting upon this act and
that for preventing frauds in tobacco payments, that in
view of several acts having been passed by Governors
"that have either restrained the trade or laid burthens
upon the shipping of British subjects, which do immediately take place and are in force before your Majesty's
pleasure is known," that an additional Instruction
should be prepared for all Governors "that they do not
pass any Act which may any ways affect the trade or
shipping of this Kingdom, without a clause declaring
that the said acts shall not be in force until they be
approved and confirmed by your Majesty" (625).
This Instruction was approved by the King in Council,
July 31, 1717 (687).
Act for preventing frauds in tobacco payments.
Very careful consideration was given to the Act for
preventing frauds in tobacco payments. Opposition to it
was strong. It was objected that the quality of tobacco
exported had not been improved by it, as had been
promised, and that it gave excessive powers to the
Governor (179 i., 533, 660 i., and Journal, May 8 and 15).
The Solicitor-General reported adversely upon it. For
it introduced innovations of so striking a character that,
according to the Governor's Instructions, it ought not
to have been passed by him without first consulting the
Home Government, or without a suspensory clause.
The Council of Trade concurred, and the act was repealed
(559, 603, 606, 610, 625, 687).
Acts transscribed for printing.; Act concerning foreign debts.
The body of Laws, which had been transcribed, was
now sent home to be printed (165, 452 i., 559, 603, 606).
Attention was then called to an act passed in 1663 concerning foreign debts. It was represented that its purport
was to bar creditors in Great Britain from recovering
debts due to them from emigrants, unless they had
brought to the Colony property equivalent to the value
of such debts. The act was described as notoriously
unjust, unfair to Great Britain and infamous to Virginia,
and it was stated that it had recently been pleaded
"in bar of very just actions" (140–142, 534).
Accounts of quit-rents and revenue.; The Opposition.
Spotswood pursued his policy of reform in the collection of quit-rents and the keeping of accounts so as to
control returns. He found that in the Offices of the
Deputy Auditor and Receiver General no detailed accounts of receipts were kept, and therefore it was impossible for the Council and Assembly to audit the
revenue. There was no satisfactory account of escheats,
fines, forfeitures or sales of Crown lands. Spotswood
therefore gladly took advantage of orders from the Council
of Trade for a statement of the revenue and the laying
of accounts before the Assembly, and called for a report
from the Deputy Auditor and Receiver-General. These
innovations increased the hostility of Philip Ludwell,
the Deputy Auditor, who was one of the leaders of the
political opposition. This party, "which set up as
patriots"—an interesting anticipation of a future nomenclature—and whose stock in trade was opposition to the
Lt.-Governor, accused him of stretching the prerogative
of the Crown in the matter of the new act for enforcing
payment of quit-rents. "They envy His Majesty the
profits of his own revenues" Spotswood declares, "and
look upon all persons not born in the country as foreigners,
and seem to allow no jurisdiction but what is established
by laws of their own making." There were, added
Spotswood, "few persons of figure" in this party.
But it is an interesting indication of the growth of a
significant political sentiment among the native born
Suspension of Philip Ludwell.
Spotswood suspended Ludwell from his office of Deputy
Auditor for fraud and mismanagement of the Revenue,
and would have liked to suspend him from the Council
too, for his malignant opposition. But the new Instruction, by which a majority of the Council was required for
the suspension of a Councillor, rendered such a step
impossible. For as there were no fewer than seven
of Ludwell's relatives in the Council, it was hopeless to
expect to get a majority to consent to his suspension or
that of any of his kindred. Spotswood protested
against this transference of power to the Council (171,
171 i.–iv., vi.–xi., 240, 545, 550, 590, 590 i., ii., 646, 662).
Council's claim to be sole judges.
This preponderance of Councillors who were members
of one influential family of planters figured in Spotswood's
dispute with the Council over their claim to be sole
judges in cases of Oyer and Terminer. He explained
that when there were so many members of the Council
who were related, it was essential that he should have
the power of nominating judges from outside the Council.
Otherwise, when a case arose in which a member of the
family was concerned and Councillors related had, in
accordance with the law, to retire from the Bench, it
would be impossible to hold a Court. The Council of
Trade agreed with him and referred the point to the
Attorney-General. The Assembly, however, associated
themselves with the contention of the Councillors, who
represented Spotswood's appointment of special Commissioners to sit with them as an endeavour to reduce
the judicial powers of the Council, and appointed William
Byrd as Agent to present their case. Spotswood maintained that his action was strictly in accordance with
the act of 1710, and also with the Instruction which
empowered Governors to establish Courts (186, 240,
522, 522 i., 550).
Councillors acting in different capacities.
The Council of Trade did not appreciate Spotswood's
objection to the claim put forward by Councillors that
they were entitled to take different views when acting
in their legislative and advisory capacities. But they
asked for further explanation (186, 522).
Complaints against Spotswood. His replies.
A report upon Spotswood's enterprises, written from
Carolina in a grudging and parochial spirit, admits that
he is "a very politick and ingenious gentleman" (243).
But his reforms and forward policy, combined with his
outspoken and contemptuous criticism of the Assembly
naturally created enemies (522, 550). Grievances were
submitted by anonymous complainants (36 i., 136).
His reply was trenchant and sufficient, and was accompanied by complimentary addresses from the Grand
Jury (452, 452 i., ix.).
Punishment of negroes.
One of the grounds of opposition to Spotswood was
his attitude towards the brutal punishment of slaves.
He had countenanced "the prosecution of a woman
for whipping her slave to death," although it was urged
in her defence, that as the law stood, she was not liable.
Spotswood answered that however unpopular the doctrine
might be, he would stand by his charge to the Grand Jury
that slaves were subjects of the King and their owners
must be called to account if they killed them. He further
quoted his 116th Instruction, directing him to endeavour
to get a law passed enacting that the wilful killing of
Indians and negroes should be punished with death
(452, 452 i., iv.–vi.). The humane attitude of the
Governor in this matter was in harmony with his policy
of educating the Indians at Christanna and instructing
them in Christianity and lends weight to his observation
as to the cause of Indian outrages and hostilities quoted
above (Nos. 146, 522 and p. xx. supra).
The increase and depredations of pirates off the Capes
led Spotswood to ask for an additional guardship from
the Admiralty (240, 527), and also to despatch a sloop
to the Bahamas, whose fortunes have been referred to
The questions of the boundary with N. Carolina and
the payment of aid by S. Carolina are mentioned above
A smaller Seal required.
One suggestion made by Spotswood was that the new
seal should be smaller, and so more suited to the needs
of the country, for "many things pass under the present
seal, scarcely smaller than the Great Seal of England,
for a fee of 20s., which hardly pays for the wax" (165).
§ 3 THE WEST INDIES.
Pirates in the Bahamas.
We have seen that the Bahamas, left derelict by the
Lords Proprietors, had become a regular nest and
rendezvous of pirates (v. § 1), and that they had driven
out the acting Governor, Captain Thomas Walker, from
Providence, which they had begun to fortify (230, 240,
240 i.–iii., 328, 328 i.–iii., 595, 635, 677, etc.).
Resumption of Charter urged.
At the beginning of 1716, the Committee of the Privy
Council reported their concurrence with the recommendation of the Council of Trade that the Charter of the Lords
Proprietors should be resumed to the Crown. They also
proposed that Roger Mostyn, whose appointment as
Governor was approved by the Crown, should receive a
commission and instructions from the King, and be
ordered to proceed at once to this Government (7, 58,
87). An Order of Council was issued to this effect.
The Council of Trade at once pointed out that this decision
did not cover the ground of their Representation which
had been referred to that Committee. They had proposed a scheme for settling and fortifying Providence,
and they insisted that unless provision were made for
fortifying and garrisoning it, no settlement could be
made, and that it was useless to hurry a Governor thither.
Nor was it easy to see how a Commission and Instructions
could be prepared for the Governor of a place wherein
were only a dozen scattered families. They evidently
perceived that this appointment of a Governor was merely
a device of the Lords Proprietors to maintain their rights
in the Charter. They asked for a decision (108), and
maintained the same note when required to report the
best method of dislodging the pirates (408, 408 i.–iii.,
587); and took every opportunity of reiterating the
derelict state of the Islands, the importance of their
situation, and the danger of allowing them to fall into the
hands of foreigners or pirates (331, 418, 453, 596, 671 i.).
Lord Carteret on surrender of government.; Captain Woodes Rogers' proposals.; A favourable report.
At length in May, 1717, Lord Carteret, at an interview
with the Council of Trade, expressed himself as willing
to surrender the government of the Bahamas as the
Proprietors of New Jersey had done, whilst retaining
their rights to the quit-rents and the soil. He mentioned
that several proposals had been submitted to the Lords
Proprietors for re-settling the islands, but none had
hitherto been deemed practicable (v. Journal, 31st May,
1717). Shortly afterwards the proposals of Captain
Woodes Rogers were referred by the Secretary of State
for the consideration of the Board, together with several
petitions from merchants of Bristol and other traders
urging the necessity of securing the islands. Woodes
Rogers, that stout sea captain, petitioned the King for
a commission as Governor, and the command of a
company to be sent as garrison. He explained that the
Lords Proprietors were awaiting the interposition of the
Crown before concluding the arrangement which he and
"some gentlemen concerned with me" had submitted
to them. The proposal of his company was to finance
an expedition with the object of dislodging the pirates
and re-settling the Bahamas, in return for the rights
in the soil, or of a lease for their lands and royalties for
twenty-one years (657, 657 i.–vii.). The Council of
Trade reported favourably upon this proposal and upon
the qualifications of Capt. Woodes Rogers. His scheme,
they held, would be "not only of great advantage to the
public, but also to the Lords Proprietors" (671, 671 i.).
Barbados and Sta.Lucia.; The Colleton case.
The history of Barbados was uneventful, save for
pirates (473, 661 and § 1), and the report of an intended
settlement by the French on Sta. Lucia, which was
included in that government (568, 637). The long
standing case of the Colletons, a private matter except
that it involved the question of a councillor sitting in
his own case, was argued before the Board, and at last
brought to a settlement, when the objection to John
Colleton's appointment to the Council was withdrawn
(131 i., 147, 151, 152, 233, 234, 238, 255, 539, and Journal
16th June, 1716).
Ecclesiastical jurisdiction.; Character of the Commissary.
One subject of controversy, however, had arisen over
the attempt by the Commissary to erect an Ecclesiastical
Court. The Governor, Robert Lowther, refused to
recognise the Bishop of London's commission to his
Commissary, Mr. Gordon, on the grounds that it was
"very extensive," until he knew what powers had been
granted to the Bishop. Strong objection was taken
by him and the Assembly to the Ecclesiastical Court
which Gordon was attempting to erect. The Royalist
party had always been strong in Barbados. Lowther
accused Gordon of being not only a factious incendiary,
openly spreading the Jacobite cause, but also of being
of low moral character and neglecting his duties as a
parish priest for trading enterprises in the Leeward Islands
and Martinique, where he was known as the "wandering
apostle" and "le marchand spirituel." Two other
clergymen, whom the Bishop of London had recommended
for benefices, Lowther describes also as "monstrous
Tories" and "only fit to officiate in the Pretender's
Chapel" (573, 573 i., ii.).
In marked contrast to Cromwellian days, only one
prisoner from Preston was "Barbadosed" (310 vi.),
though the recent act to oblige planters to keep a certain
proportion of white servants showed that the need of
increasing the white population was recognised. Possibly
it may have been thought impolitic to add to the numbers
of the Royalists, concerning whom the Board of Trade
warned the Governor that his vigilance could not be too
Census and returns.
A census of the inhabitants in 1715, and lists of
christenings, burials, and causes tried or depending are
indicated (276, 661 i.–xiv.).
The 4½ percent. duty.
An account of the 4½ p.c. duty, and a report concerning
it, were given in connection with a demand for stores of
war from the Leeward Islands (341 i., 424), whilst its
effect upon competition with foreign sugar was referred
to by Mr. Cumings as a reason for taxing the latter when
imported to the American continent (297).
Bermuda. Charge against Lt.-Governor.
An unfounded charge of screening an act of piracy was
brought against the Lt.-Governor and Council of Bermuda,
and being found to be engineered by Bennett's enemies,
was withdrawn (247 i., 280, 306, 672). Bennett also
protested against the charge that Bermuda men were
concerned with the Jamaican privateers in the matter
of the Spanish galleons (300, 677). The fortifications
were reported to have been damaged by a hurricane
Act for breaking an entail.
The careful report of the Solicitor-General upon a
private act for permitting the sale of some lands to pay
the debts of a tenant in tail is typical of the care
with which such acts were considered. As there was
no procedure by fines and recoveries in the Plantations,
and such permission was not repugnant to the laws of
Great Britain, it was thought reasonable to leave the
decision to the direction of the Assembly, which was
best able to examine the facts and rights of such a case
(49, 104, 566, 574, 581, 684. See also § 1, Pirates).
Jamaica.; The Assembly continues its campaign against Governor, Council and Regiment. Address not transmitted through Governor.; Report by Council of Trade.
This was an eventful period in the history of Jamaica.
A great deal of time was spent by the Council of Trade
and Plantations on the consideration of its affairs.
Whilst thanking the new Board for the passing of the
two acts which had been intended to inaugurate a period
of conciliation (39), the Assembly gave no sign of
wavering in their campaign against the Governor and
Council and the retention of the two companies of solidiers
(v. C.S.P. 1715, pp. xxxvii.–xli.). When their Address
was brought to Mr. Secretary Stanhope by Sir Gilbert
Heathcote, Francis March, and Richard Harris, the question of their right to present an Address to the King
through their Agents, without awaiting the co-operation
of the Governor and Council, and without requesting
the Governor to transmit it, was referred to the Council
of Trade. In their report the Board quoted the precedent
of 1702 and 1705, when the Commissioners for Trade
had held that such procedure was only permissible when
the Address contained complaints against Governors,
or when they refused to transmit or represent what was
desired (48, cf. Journal, 8th February, 1716). In this
case no such complaint had yet been made, and the
Governor appeared to have followed his Instructions
very strictly. The Board were therefore of opinion that
such a method of presenting Addresses ought to be
discountenanced. They took the opportunity of observing that not only the Assembly of Jamaica, but
also those of other Colonies were "pretending to assume
new privileges and powers, which if not prevented, may
lead to the weakening of H.M. prerogative in those parts."
They explained the position with regard to the inadequate
provision made for the two Companies, and the refusal
of the Assembly to pay off the debt to the Governor
and Council for the money advanced by them for the
subsistence of the soldiers. They recommended that
the Governor should be instructed, as he had proposed,
to discharge this debt out of H.M. revenue. A warrant
to this effect was issued. It also empowered the Governor
to supplement the allowance for the soldiers from the
same source (27 i., 48, 116). As to the two Independent
Companies, the Board insisted on the absolute necessity
of retaining them as a protection against rebellious
negroes or foreign enemies, at least until there were
sufficient white settlers to render the island safe. The
Governor had complained of an abuse practised in the
elections by Assemblymen, who, by splitting up holdings
of land, had multiplied the votes of their supporters.
Into this abuse they intended to enquire (27 i., 48).
Two months later they reminded the Secretary of State
of the urgency of these matters (122), and informed the
Governor of the views expressed above (123). At the
same time they forwarded, for further information, a
protest from the South Sea Company against a duty of
40s. per head said to have been recently imposed on
negroes exported from the island, a duty which would
be prohibitive in the case of slaves landed for refreshment
en route from Africa to the Spanish settlements (50, 67,
67 i., 85, 123).
Memorial and Address in defence of Assembly.
They also forwarded for Lord Archibald's reply a
memorial in defence of the proceedings of the Assembly
which had been presented to them by Jamaica merchants,
assuring him that such complaints would be given no
credit until he had been allowed an opportunity of answering (50, 123). The case of the Assembly was further
set out in their Address to the King, in which the Governor was accused of Jacobitism, of replacing those who in
the Council and civil and military posts were loyal to
the present government, and of opening a trade with the
French (which he had definite instructions from Ministers
to do). Further, the right of the Assembly to adjourn
itself was claimed, and it was very disingenuously asserted
that they had used their best endeavours to comply
with the Royal recommendation to grant a sufficient
revenue, and to provide the necessary subsistence for
the two Companies, but had been prevented by frequent
dissolutions (50, 78, 158 viii., xi., 357 c.). The grievances
of the Assembly against Lord Archibald Hamilton, many
of them transparently malicious, were summarised under
ten heads, and concluded with an appeal to the Crown to
interpose (158 xii.). About the same time Mr. Peter
Heywood, who had been dismissed from the Council and
from his office of Chief Justice with the unanimous
consent of the rest of the councillors, was writing to
the Secretary of State and calling attention to his own
merits (78, 158 xiii.–xv.).
Proceedings of the Assembly.; Assembly dissolved.; Subscriptions for an Agent.
Meanwhile, the attempt to conciliate the Assembly
had proved futile (27 i., 78). The contest over the
right of the Council to amend money bills, and over
the method of granting money and issuing it, was
resumed. As the Assembly rejected the Council's
amendment to most bills for these reasons, only three
were passed. One of these was described by the Governor
as little better than a Schism Act. At last, when all
business had practically been brought to a standstill,
a message from the House throwing aspersions on the
Governor's loyalty, roused him to throw it back at the
members who brought it and to dissolve the Assembly
(78, 203 iii., iv.). Among the bills rejected by the
Council was one for raising money for an agent of the
Assembly in England. On its rejection, steps were
taken in the Assembly for raising subscriptions for that
purpose in the country. Funds were presently forwarded
to Sir Gilbert Heathcote and Mr. March in London
(78, 203, 357 c.).
Fund used for support of the Government.
The revenue was now exhausted, the country was
heavily in debt, and the soldiers unprovided for. Lord
Archibald had no hope that a new Assembly would prove
more amenable than the last. He therefore decided to
carry on by taking a sum of £8,000, the surplus of the
Additional Duty Act of 1712, out of the hands of a Commissioner appointed by the Assembly, and transferring
it to the Receiver-General. This sum, with the unanimous
consent of the Council, was to be applied to the most
pressing requirements of the Government (78).
The Council's Memorial.
In memorials to the Council of Trade, the Council
gave their version of the controversy with the Assembly,
as well as their own policy for providing a revenue
and increasing the population of the island. They
wished to enforce the already existing acts for encouraging
the importation of white settlers, and believed that the
Additional Duty Bill, as they had amended it, would
have provided a sufficient revenue as well as a fund for
bringing over and settling emigrants. They asked that
prisoners from Preston should be sent to Jamaica, and
described their policy as aiming at the encouragement
of new settlers and small settlements, and the throwing
of the burden of taxation chiefly upon those best able to
bear it. The Governor expressed his agreement with
their proposals, but confessed that he had little hope that
the new Assembly would consent to them (203, 203 i., ii.).
Unless they did so, he confessed himself practically at
an end of his resources. He would not recommend the
"making of laws for them in Britain," as that would
be resented by all parties, but suggested that the Governor
and Council might be empowered to pass an Additional
Duty Act embodying the views of the Council, if the
Assembly refused to join in it. He also proposed an
increase in the number of Councillors, from twelve to
fifteen. He concluded by affirming that the encroachments of the Assembly upon the authority of the Crown
and the necessity of measures for providing a revenue and
peopling the island called for the immediate intervention
of the Crown (203, 357 c.).
Lord A. Hamilton recalled and arrested.
Suddenly the situation underwent a dramatic change.
Lord Archibald was dismissed from his government and
sent home under arrest. On 19th May, Mr. Secretary
Stanhope came down to the Board of Trade, and, laying
before them a bundle of complaints against the Governor,
directed them to propose a Commission and Instructions
for Peter Heywood, the eldest Councillor, to assume the
government as Commander in Chief. He, with the
Council, was to enquire into piracies alleged to have been
perpetrated against the Spaniards by persons commissioned by Lord Archibald, of which complaint had been
made to the Spanish Ambassador. He was to send home
for trial the principal persons involved, together with
their effects and the evidence against them, and also
to arrest Lord Archibald, seize his effects and send
them over with him, if he should appear to be in any way
responsible (158, 158 i.–xv., 175, 175 i., Journal, 19th
May, 1716). These instructions were subsequently modified. A precedent for sending a Governor home under
arrest had been found in the case of Sir Thomas Modyford
in 1671 (158 x.). But it was now explained that only
the Governor and those who were guilty of piracies at
sea were to be sent home for trial. Accessories on land
must be tried upon the place. Nor were any effects to
be sent home; they were only to be seized and held in
case of conviction (201, 201 i., 283).
The allegations against him.
The complaint made to the Spanish Ambassador was
supported by an English naval officer, the Captain of
H.M.S. Diamond, some Jamaica merchants, and Samuel
Page, whom Lord Archibald had at first refused to
accept as Deputy Secretary, and who, at the instigation
of the Assembly, had sailed with the funds subscribed by
the Assembly in the Diamond without a permit from the
Governor. It was to the effect that certain privateers,
commissioned by the Governor, had perpetrated gross
acts of piracy upon the Spaniards in the gulf of Florida
and off Havana, and others by fishing on the wrecks
of ships which the Spaniards had not abandoned. Lord
Archibald himself was alleged to be part owner of some
of these vessels, to have shared in their plunder, and
to have refused restitution (158, 158 i.–vii., 604 i.–iii.).
Stay of proceedings requested.; Page and Addington bound to appear.
Lord Archibald's friends were not idle. As soon as
they heard of these proceedings, they entered a strong
protest at the Board of Trade, complaining that they,
planters and merchants of Jamaica now in England, and
many of the most considerable gentlemen of that island
were not advised with, nor consenting to what had
been done. They asked for a stay of proceedings for
the further examination of the charges, stating that "the
complaints against the Governor were not well founded,
but were carried on by persons of small credit in Jamaica."
They expressed great nervousness as to what might be
done by the new government and urged that, if Lord
Archibald must be recalled, his place should be filled
at once by a person "of honour, ability, and integrity"
(182, 182 i., ii., 203 i., ii., v.). On enquiry, however,
the Board was informed by Mr. Stanhope that Mr.
Heywood's Commission and Instructions had already
gone (Journal, 31st May). Lord Archibald's agent also
intervened. He declared that the Governor was entirely
innocent of the crimes against the Spaniards, and that
the affidavits of Samuel Page and William Addington
were "in a great measure groundless and malicious,"
and therefore asked that they should be required to give
securities for their appearance at Lord Archibald's trial.
Page had returned to Jamaica, where he complained that he
had not been sufficiently rewarded out of the subscriptions
raised by the Assembly. After consultation with the
Attorney-General, the newly appointed Governor was
instructed to cause these witnesses to be examined and
to give their recognizances for their appearance at the
King's Bench bar, when Lord Archibald should be brought
to trial under the act of King William III. (246 i., 282, 283,
377, 395, 403, 403 i., 406 i.). In view of the nature and
source of the evidence, it would appear that Stanhope
acted with curious precipitancy in taking so strong a
measure, without waiting to hear the other side.
Lord Archibald's explanation.
Lord Archibald's explanation of the affair, written
within a fortnight of the despatch of Stanhope's hurried
instructions for his recall, was simple and apparently
straight-forward (203, 357 c.) Ever since the conclusion
of peace there had been complaints against Spanish
guarda costas and French ships with Spanish commissions,
which, under pretence of guarding the coasts of the
Spanish settlements, had been attacking British traders.
In some cases they had justified their seizures by the
presence of Spanish pistoles on board—the current
money of the West Indies—and in others they detained
them without proof or trial. Lord Archibald's demands
for restitution had been everywhere ignored, although
he had himself set the example by restoring Spanish
goods captured before the cessation of arms was known
(27 i., 95, 203, 357 h). Combined with the increase
of pirates, this condition of affairs had rendered navigation more dangerous than it had been in times of open
warfare. H.M. ships on the station were of little use, as
they were not allowed to clean abroad, and were in any
case almost useless for chasing "clean, light, and nimble
vessels." In these circumstances, the Governor had
yielded "to the clamours of the trading people" and had
commissioned privateers to cruise against pirates. Unfortunately the wreck of the Spanish galleons in the Gulf of
Florida proved too great a temptation to the Jamaica
privateersmen. Not only did they go to "fish upon the
wrecks" without drawing any nice distinctions as to
whether they had been abandoned by the Spaniards
or not, but one party, landing on the coast of Florida,
attacked a Spanish camp and carried off 120,000 pieces of
eight besides wrought silver, which the Spaniards themselves had recovered from the sunken flota. One privateer, the Bennet, " commanded by a tawny Moor called
Fernando Fernandez" seized a Spanish sloop, which had
formerly belonged to some Jamaica merchants and had
been taken by the Spaniards, but never condemned in
any Spanish port. This sloop, after first taking out the
money and jewels in her, and communicating with the
Governor, he sent into Port Royal. There she was
condemned with her cargo in the Admiralty Court as
having been piratically taken. An appeal was intended,
and the Governor stated that he would see justice done.
But he omitted to mention that he had one share in the
Bennet. The Governor of the Havana sent a representative, one Don Juan del Valle, to demand restitution
of all monies and effects taken out of the flota, the punishment of the pirates, and the prohibition of any such
enterprise for the future. Lord Archibald agreed that
such piracies ought to be punished and restitution made,
whilst holding that wrecks left derelict belonged to the
first occupant, and he presently issued a Proclamation
recalling the privateers and prohibiting fishing or diving
on the wrecks. But as to restitutions, he informed the
Governor of Havana that they must be reciprocal, and
that the Spaniards having been the first aggressors ought
to be the first to give satisfaction. In fact, he represented
to the Council of Trade, "the buckaneering and seafareing people" were exasperated by the losses they
had suffered at the hands of the Spanish guarda costas,
and were tempted by the riches of the wrecks to make
reprisals. He was afraid that too rigorous prosecutions
would drive away the sea-faring population and force
them to turn pirates, to the great weakening of the
island. Moreover, the temper of the people had been
shown recently by two incidents. One one occasion a
man condemned to be hanged for robbing a Spanish
boat was rescued from the gibbet by a mob at Port
Royal. On another a vessel seized by the King's Officers
in Port Royal harbour was boarded by armed men and
the goods carried away (158 i.–vii., 203, 308, 357 h.,
Reconstruction of the Council.; Object of the Assembly achieved.; Obtain control of the Executive.
Stanhope had no sooner given orders for the Governor's
recall, than he began to reconstruct the Council, the
majority of which, since its reconstitution, had stood by
Lord Archibald in his struggle with the Assembly (164. v.
Journal, 23rd May). To the new Council were appointed
some of those who had been displaced at Lord Archibald's
request, John Blair and Charles Chaplin, and others
who had been leaders of the Opposition in the Assembly,
Thomas Beckford, James Risby and George Bennet.
Thus in spite of a protest on behalf of some of those
who were to be dismissed, a new Council was constituted
containing an equal number of partisans of either side
(104, 169, 175 i., 178). The Assembly had thus achieved
their object. They had obtained the recall of the Governor, and in his place was installed a Lt.-Governor who was
a strong supporter of their policy, a native of the island,
and practically their nominee. The Council was so
nicely balanced as to be almost neutralised, but with a
Lt.-Governor thus inclined and the partisans of the late
Governor thus discouraged, it might be expected in
practice to be on their side. The control of the Executive
was, for the time at least, in their hands, Heywood,
however, was warned in his Instructions that he was not,
in his temporary capacity as Governor, to pass any acts
except such as were immediately necessary for the
peace and welfare of the island, without particular orders
(163 i.). The Council of Trade took the opportunity of
urging him to a conciliatory policy with a view to the
safety and welfare of the island and provision of subsistence of the troops, assuring him at the same time of
their "readiness to second whatever might be offered
by the gentlemen of Jamaica, that may promote their
true interest and H.M. service" (187).
The enquiry into Lord Archibald's conduct.; His defence.
On receipt of his Instructions, Peter Heywood,
according to his meagre account, sat daily with the
Council to enquire into Lord Archibald's late conduct
(308). But instead of examining him and sending him
home under arrest with the witnesses against him, in
case he was found guilty of being concerned in the
piracies, they refused to communicate to him a copy of
the charge against him, so that there could be no proper
examination or cross-examination of witnesses. They
arrested him under a warrant which did not specify the
cause of commitment, and sent him home post haste
without any witnesses for the prosecution (cf. Minutes
of Council of Jamaica, and B.T. Journal, 2nd October,
1717). Heywood explained that there were only two
individuals, Thomas Bendysh, part owner of the Bennet,
and Jonathan Barnet, one of the privatersmen, whom
they thought fit to send home to give evidence, and that
they were both unable to leave the island on account of
writs out against them for debts (387). Whilst the
Council was deliberating whether they should be justified
in arresting the Governor, the Chief Justice and Attorney-General made oath to the following facts, which, they
declared, in their opinion were sufficient proof that he
was not concerned in the piracy. It was admitted that
Lord Archibald had a share in the Bennet privateer.
But, learning that the Commander, Fernandez, had
exceeded his commission and instructions by seizing
Spanish goods, and before complaint against that ship
had been lodged by Don Juan del Valle, he had consulted
the Chief Justice and Attorney-General. It was decided,
that, in order to secure as many as possible of the effects
taken from the Spaniards and return them to the owners,
he should "temporize with Bendysh," and himself
receive his own share. This he had done and deposited
it in the hands of the Provost Marshall, to await H.M.
orders. By an Order in Council of 9th June, Bendysh,
who had brought in the Governor's share of the capture,
had been required to give security for the return of such
part of the Spanish effects as had come into his hands.
As for Don Juan del Valle, the Governor had consulted
with him as to the desirability of prosecuting the privateersmen complained of, and this the former had declined,
lest such procedure and issue of a proclamation at that
moment might deter others, then at sea, from returning
to Jamaica. The Governor had gone out of his way to
further the appeal in the case of the Nuestra Senora de
Bethlehem, although it was not made in proper form, so
anxious was he to do justice to the Spaniards (203, 357 h).
All this evidence was ignored, and by a majority of one,
the Council decided to arrest Lord Archibald. It was
suggested that their proceedings exposed the whole
manœuvre, which was to get rid of the Governor and to
screen from prosecution or restitution all those concerned in the many privateers. Heywood, at any rate,
made no further reference to the affair, but began at
once to echo Lord Archibald's complaints of the seizure
of Jamaican vessels by the French and Spaniards, and
to demand reparation therefor (308, 308 i.–iv., 339,
339 i., ii., 409, 409 i.). And, as Lord Archibald had
foretold, enquiries into the further misbehaviour of the
privateers, and the arrest of a few principals and
accessories in the case of a French ship taken in the Bay
of Hondo, occasioned a general stampede of the seafaring population, who feared prosecution (308, 308 i.–iv.,
359 i., 411, 411 i.). They increased the swarm of pirates
who were infesting those seas, and some of whose brutalities
are described. The guardships were incapable of dealing
with them, and, if arrested, the Commander in Chief had
no commission for trying them (352, 352 i., 411, 411 i.).
The Council of Trade represented the necessity of dealing
promptly with this dangerous situation (518, cf. §1 Pirates).
The Council and Assembly.
Heywood at once found himself in difficulties with
the Council. The question of the subsistence of the
two companies was acute, and the soldiers were pressing
for payment and clothing long overdue. This "standing army," of which the Assembly was so anxious
to be rid, was now reduced to 61 men (339 iii., 411,
519). The majority of the Council voted that they
should be subsisted out of the Treasury, as had recently
been done. The minority, with Heywood, considered
that as there was no law to sanction this, it should not
be done, but that an Assembly should be called, which,
they thought would deal with the situation. On the
expediency of calling an Assembly the Council was equally
divided. Such were the first fruits of appointing a
nicely balanced Council, intended to represent both
parties in the island. Those who had supported Lord
Archibald, continued to support the policy for which
they had voted under him, whilst the remainder voted
with Heywood (308, 359 i.). But the Treasury was
empty. Heywood therefore determined to summon an
Assembly. In the meantime he was obliged, as Lord
Archibald Hamilton had been obliged, to subsist the
soldiers out of his own pocket. The new Assembly he
described as good (352). He did nothing to disturb their
equanimity. Ignoring his instructions, he informed them
that he would pass what bills they liked. He was, in
fact merely their instrument. The Assembly promptly
brought in all the bills which had been rejected during
the existence of the last Assembly, including one which
had already been annulled by the Crown (451 e). Lord
Archibald's party continued their opposition to bills
which encroached upon the Governor's powers. Their
opposition was strenuous but vain. For Heywood was
prepared to do the Assembly's bidding, and the Assembly
would accept no amendments by the Council to their
money bills. The opposition in the Council had by this
time been reduced to two. For William Broderick, the
Attorney-General, had gone home with the Governor,
and Peake and Mumby were dead. Francis Rose and
Thomas Bernard, the Chief Justice, remained. The latter
the Assembly addressed the Commander in Chief to
remove, on account of his having opposed the summoning
of a new Assembly. They further requested the removal
of Anthony Swymmer from the Bench, as being of "too
loose and atheistical principles," and hinted at the
removal of the opposing Councillors (387, 387 i.). They
also proceeded to punish the Deputy-Receiver, who, in
obedience to an order of the Governor and Council, had
received from the Commissioner appointed to collect
the Additional Duty of 1712, the money arising therefrom,
and had issued it for the payment of the soldiers' subsistence and the exigencies of the Government. By a
clause in their new Additional Duty Act, they now
required him to make good this sum and pay it over
again to their Commissioner. The Council of Trade
represented that this was a great injustice, and offered
that orders should be sent to stop proceedings against
the Receiver on that account (387, 446, 446 i., 450, 451).
The Assembly then reduced its claim on the ReceiverGeneral to the amount issued by him for the subsistence
of the soldiers (659, 659 i.). Yet to Heywood they
repaid the money advanced by him for that purpose, and
repaid it with interest at generous rate (652 i.). The
principle involved was precisely the same as that in the
case of the money advanced by Lord Archibald Hamilton
and his Council, which they had so long refused to refund
(48, 50, 158 xi. a). In a petition on behalf of Lord
Archibald it was asked that the newly appointed Governor
should be instructed to recommend to the Assembly the
discharge of this debt. An order to this effect was made
(378 i., 415). Later, on the appointment of another
Governor, Lord Archibald renewed this petition, with a
request that he should be allowed ordinary interest,
seeing that the Assembly had allowed Mr. Heywood
"his principall with an extraordinary interest" (652,
Thomas Pitt appointed Governor. His proposals.; Claims of the Assembly.
Thomas Pitt was appointed to succeed Lord Archibald
in June (216). Three months later he asked for instructions for remedying the state of danger and disorder in
which the island was reported to be (343, 343 i.). On
16th October Mr. Secretary Methuen conferred with the
Board of Trade (Journal, 16th October), and discussed
a memorandum by Mr. Pitt, in which he enumerated
the matters in dispute with the Assembly, and asked for
instructions concerning them. He also requested that
the Acts of Jamaica which had not yet been confirmed
by the Crown should be either confirmed or annulled
before his departure (357). As he had attributed the
disorders and defenceless condition of the island in large
measure to the Assembly's "in a manner assuming the
executive part of the Government" (357), he was
asked to be more explicit on that point (370). His
reply was that the whole drift of their proceedings, to
which the late Governor and Council had taken objection,
was in this direction, and recapitulated their claims and
actions (370, 375).
As to the Acts not yet confirmed, the Council of
Trade pointed out that they remained in force until
disapproved by the Crown. To await decisions upon
them all would delay the Governor's departure to an
extent that would be inconsistent with the public service.
But they offered to report immediately upon any to which
he had objections, or which he thought it would be for
the advantage of the island or acceptable to the inhabitants to take with him confirmed (376). Mr. Pitt
referred them to the acts mentioned by the Council of
Jamaica in their memorial (203 i., ii., 396).
Decisions upon rights and claims of the Assembly.
Upon the points raised by him in relation to the claims
and privileges of the Assembly, the Council of Trade
submitted a careful record of precedents from the
records of the island. These they offered as material
for a decision by the King in Council, not presuming to
give any opinion of their own in matters which so nearly
concerned the prerogative of the Crown and were so
essential to the Constitution and Government of that
island. They again drew attention to the fact that
disputes of the like nature had lately arisen in other
Governments in America (435, 435 i.). Four months
later (April 12th, 1717), after mature consideration,
decisions were made upon the thirteen points raised by
Mr. Pitt, and directions were given by Mr. Stanhope for
drawing his Instructions in accordance with them (526).
The right of the Council to amend money bills was
affirmed; that of the Assembly to adjourn without
the Governor's leave, except de die in diem, denied.
The Receiver-General was appointed by patent under
the Great Seal, and the naming of the Receiver by the
Assembly was undesirable. Provision of a revenue
equal to the expenses of the Government (£6,000), and
for the subsistence of the soldiers was to be recommended
to the Assembly, who were to be promised that the two
companies would be withdrawn as soon as it was deemed
safe to do so. Other minor points were dealt with, and
the suggestion that the Governor should appoint the
Clerk and other officers of the Assembly was over-ruled
by precedent (526).
Colonel Lawes appointed in place of Mr. Pitt.
Mr. Pitt, however, did not receive these instructions.
For some reason, which does not appear here, he did not
go to Jamaica (217). Col. Nicholas Lawes was appointed Governor in his stead (614). The Commissioners
of Customs, on being consulted as to their views for the
new Instructions, desired that officers of the Customs
should be excused from serving in the Militia or upon
juries, or any parochial offices, since such services interfered with the execution of their duties (630, 680).
Private Acts. Evidence of negroes.
Two private acts were confirmed, one of considerable
interest being to disqualify negroes from giving evidence
against the family of John Williams, a free negro who
had been converted to Christianity and amassed considerable property in the island (387, 521, 554, 683). This, as
the Attorney-General observed, admitted Williams to
the same privileges as other freemen, since by the law
of Jamaica the evidence of one slave against another
who was or had been a slave was admitted, but not against
any other (531).
The act for the relief of the inhabitants of Kingston
was repealed (648 i., 670, 681, 682).
The island in general was reported to "continue
very sickly" (409).
Leeward Islands.; Antigua.; Pirates.; Additional guardships required.; Request for grant of stores of war.; Intervention of the Board of Ordnance.; Council of Trade on the 4½ p.c. duty.
Addresses from the four chief Leeward Islands expressed appreciation of the appointment of Governor
Hamilton, who arrived at Antigua in April, 1716 (68,
118 vii.–xv.). There he recommended the Assembly to
amend their law for the recovery of debts and to take
measures for defence, and this, he reports, they set about
with great good will (68). But a severe drought, which
afflicted all the islands, interfered with the realisation
of their good intentions (651). For want of a suitable
man of war, and by reason of the numerous and powerful
pirate ships which infested these seas, Hamilton found
great difficulty in visiting the other islands (68, 68 i.,
118, 118 i., 173, 425, 425 i.–iii., v., 466, 484, 568; and
see §1, Pirates). The need of a stronger guardship was
represented by the Council of Trade, and also the defenceless condition of the islands owing to the want of munitions of war (224, 224 i., 473, 474, 570). The need of a
grant of supplies of this nature was repeatedly emphasised
by Hamilton, who represented that the heavy taxes borne
during the late war and the high prices then ruling for
necessaries of life had reduced the capacity of the planters
to provide these on their own account (118, 651). The
Board of Ordnance, however, interposed. Over £10,000
was due to their office for munitions supplied by them
for the Leeward Islands since 1702. Parliament had
granted no money to the office for these stores, which
were ordered to be paid out of the 4½ p.c. duty. They
thought, therefore, that, before a new grant was made,
an account of past expenditure of stores should be
demanded, and details of what were required, more
especially as the request of the Leeward Islands exceeded
in proportion those of other Dominions, and the supplies
sent appeared to them to have been fully sufficient if
due care had been taken of them. To this the Council
of Trade replied by reviewing the situation with regard
to the 4½ p.c. duty, which in 1702 had been ordered to
be devoted to the fortifications and other public uses of
Barbados and the Leeward Islands, to which it had
originally been appropriated. Since 1702 that duty
had amounted to over £78,000, whilst the Leeward
Islands had only been supplied with stores of war valued
at £15,241 4s. 10d. How the balance had been spent
was a question for the Treasury. But as Nevis, St.
Christopher, and Montserrat had been plundered by
the French and as the account of what stores were wanting
and what were remaining was quite explicit, they thought
an immediate dispatch of stores was necessary (198, 204
ii.–vii., 274, 341 i., 398 i., 424). The matter was then
referred to the Treasury, to whom the Board of Ordnance
explained that they had received little more than £9,000
out of the 4½ p.c. for stores of war to the value of £30,000
odd supplied by them to the Leeward Islands and
Barbados. They asked to be reimbursed out of the
balance of the 4½ p.c. since 1702. They repeated their
opinion that the further demand from the Leeward Islands
required explanation (433, 475, 475 i.). In answer to
this the Council of Trade repeated their former statement
(476, 476 i.).
Antigua. Acts.; Agent appointed.
One or two acts of Antigua were confirmed. But the
Attorney General entered strong objections to the Act
for establishing a Court of King's Bench, etc., as it was
drawn, whilst approving the provision that the Court
of Chancery should be held before the Governor and
Council instead of the Governor alone (368, 384, 422,
688). An important act for prohibiting the importation
of foreign sugar, rum, cotton, or molasses was passed in
1716 (261). An act to encourage the importation of
Protestant white servants was also passed, and recommended by the Governor as the best and only expedient
for increasing the population, which had suffered from
the effects of the taxation and invasions of the late
war (323, 651), and also from the development of large
plantations at the expense of small holders (118). Upon
the reiterated recommendation of the Governor, Mr.
William Nevine was appointed to act as Agent for the
Governor's presents and house rent. Sugar and prices.; Nevis.; The case of the Hostages at Martinique.
The Assembly settled £1,000 a year upon the Governor
for his house rent. This sum was in excess of the sum
allowed by his Instructions. But it was pointed out
that it was £1,000 current money, and current money was
sugar. When realised in London, it would produce
little more than £400. House rents were very dear, and
prices had risen to such an extent that the Governor's
salary of £2,000 was less than the £1,200 from which it
had been raised a few years ago. Moreover, neither
Nevis nor Montserrat had ever contributed to the Governor's house rent, and St. Kitts only once. Nor could
they now do so, as Assemblies had been already held
by each of them since his arrival, and they were therefore
precluded from voting him any present. In these
circumstances, the Council proposed that Hamilton
should be permitted to receive the house rent voted to
him, but that the act should not be confirmed by the
Crown, so that, if any ill results appeared, it would still
be feasible to annul it. They also expressed the view
that some alteration in the Instructions regulating the
Governor's house rent was desirable (120, 483, 532).
In Nevis, an act for fortifying Saddle Hill was passed.
This and an act for a return of negroes were confirmed
(66 ii., 365, 373, 417). A request was made for an engineer
and munitions of war (66 ii.). The case of the hostages,
who were detained at Martinique against the payment of
the ransom demanded by Iberville in 1706, was raised
again, in the hope of relief through the Commissaries
to be appointed under the Treaty of Utrecht. It was
again pleaded that the Capitulation was extorted by
force, and that the terms of it had been broken by the
French. The condition of the two hostages who had
refused to make their escape from Martinique was
pitiable, and the sum claimed by Iberville was ruinous
(66 iii.,–xv.). They refuted the suggestion that they
had neglected to provide for the maintenance of the
hostages (66 iii., iv.). The addresses and petitions from
Nevis were submitted to the Advocate-General for
reconsideration of his opinion of August 2, 1715 (82). Sir
Nathaniel Lloyd advised the Board to await the report
of the Commissaries (91).
St. Christopher. Brimstone Hill.
In St. Kitts, an act was passed and subsequently confirmed, for acquiring Brimstone Hill with a view to
fortifying it (555, 622, 622 i., 628, 689).
The disposal of the former French lands.; Col. Douglass' offer.
There was some correspondence over the question of
the ownership of plantations and the confirmation of
grants of returned French Protestant planters on the
former French quarter of the island (173 etc.). The
amount of workable land available for distribution was
estimated by the Surveyor at 15,000 acres (68). Col.
Douglass now came forward with a proposal to purchase
10,000 acres for £16,000, the remainder, after allowing
for the grants to French refugees and salt pans, to be
assigned gratis to the poor settlers. On this offer being
referred to the Council of Trade, they reported, that,
whilst they could not deal with its merits until directions
were given as to the disposal of the lands, they now
thought that, instead of appointing Commissaries for
arranging the sale of them, as they had previously suggested, it would be more to the advantage of the Crown
to put them up for sale in England, since their value was
now better known. They presently repeated their opinion
as to the urgency of settling the matter, both from the
point of view of the Treasury and of peopling the island
(225, 225 i., 251, 265, 320 i.).
Resolution of the House of Commons.
The House of Commons then passed a resolution for
the sale of the lands yielded by France, and the Treasury
invited the Council of Trade to give them all the
information on the subject in their possession (653,
665; and see § 1, Relations with French; Governors'
In response to the enquiries of the Board of Trade,
which were repeated in June, 1716 (213), Hamilton
explained that he was unable to visit the Virgin Islands
for lack of a man of war, but he sent in the reports from
the Lt.-Governors of Anguilla and Spanish Town (68, 118,
118 iv.–vii., 350 i.–iii.). The soil of Anguilla was said
to be exhausted, and the inhabitants, suffering from the
drought, were anxious to remove to Sta. Cruz. They
were petitioning for grants of land there. Spanish
Town, Tortola, and Beef Island were sparsely inhabited.
Such inhabitants as there were gained a wretched
livelihood. Hamilton thought it would be an advantage
if they were all removed to St. Kitts and given grants
of the former French lands there (118, 350, 425, 651).
The Lt.-Governors of Anguilla and Spanish Town
received their commissions and instructions from the
Governor of the Leeward Islands, but had no salaries,
and it was not easy to find anyone suitable for the office
(213, 350). Later, Hamilton reported that some settlers
had left the Leeward Islands for Tortola, but he repeated
his view that Captain Walton had exaggerated the
richness of this group (425, 651).
Captain Walton's petition.
The Council of Trade had meanwhile reported favourably upon Capt. Walton's petition, recommending that
he should accompany the ship appointed to visit the
Virgin Islands, and that he should be granted an allowance
for his present undertaking and some recompense for
his past services (153). This matter was then referred
to the Treasury (334). In May, 1717, Captain Candler
of H.M.S. Winchelsea sent in the result of his survey
of the Virgin Islands. It agreed with the opinion of
Governor Hamilton, and emphasised that they were a
nest of pirates and likely to remain so, and that it would
not be worth while for the Government to go to any
expense on their account (425, 425 ii.–iv., 639 i.).
Danish claim to St. John and Crab Island.
These activities in the Virgin Islands roused the apprehension of the Danes, who claimed for their West India
Company not only St. Thomas (of which Capt. Candler
gave an uncomplimentary description as inhabited by
"rogues and pirates"), but also Crab Island and St.
John, which they announced their intention to settle.
They asked that instructions should be sent forbidding
the interference threatened by the English (562, 562 i.,
ii., 639 i.).
Newfoundland.; New Act proposed.; Report by the Council of Trade.; Commodore's Instructions.; Increase of sailings.
The enquiries of the Council of Trade (C.S.P. 1715, p.
xlvi.) elicited several complaints from the out-ports
interested in the Newfoundland fishery. The New
Englanders and the inhabitants were debauching the
fishermen with rum, and the former inticing them away
to the Continent. Total prohibition of the sale of liquor
and tobacco was demanded. Alien ships were trading
with Newfoundland and using the fishery. Lt.-Governor
Moody by taking part in the fishery and permitting
the French to share in trade, and engrossing the French
plantations at Placentia, was preventing the development
of the fishery there. It was suggested that the Military
should be forbidden to take any part in trade or the
fishery. Also that the observance of the Sabbath,
which was at present "as it were an universall day of
drunkeness and debauchery," should be inculcated by
ministers supported from home, and enforced by corporal
punishment. Infringements of the act to encourage
the trade to Newfoundland were noted (3, 4, 15, 24, 25,
439 i.). Captain Taverner, in his report, confirmed
these observations, and added that trading by the
French and their encroachments at St. Peters were
preventing the expected development of the newly
acquired Fishery (44 ii.). It had been recognised that
some penalties must be provided for infringements of
the above Act. The Attorney-General gave his opinion
that a new act would be necessary for this purpose, and
that a Proclamation would not suffice (15, 25, 29). Capt.
Taverner submitted a draft for a new act (44 iii.) From
the information thus acquired, the Council of Trade
compiled a long and careful report (70 i.), describing the
abuses in the fishery, and proposing a new law laying
penalties and directing where and how they were to
be recovered. They further proposed that the Commodore and Fishing Admirals should make a survey
and record of the rights and ownership of the various
cook-rooms, stages, and beaches, which had been the
source of many disputes. To fill the gap when, in the
winter and in the absence of the Commodore and Fishing
Admirals, there was "a sort of respite from all observance
of law or government," they recommended that two
judges should be appointed for each of the principal
harbours, and that they should be elected by the inhabitants before the departure of the fishing fleet. These
magistrates were to hold a Court once a month, and
appeals were to lie from their decision to the Commodore
of the ensuing season. To counter the tactics of the
New Englanders, who debauched the fishermen with
their rum, and of the British traders who, sailing direct
from Europe to the fishery, took advantage of the
inhabitants' need of salt for their fish to oblige them to
buy one butt of wine and a quarter cask of brandy with
every ten hogsheads of salt, they proposed that no wine
or brandy (except from Madeira, etc.), no tobacco, and
no rum, except from the West Indies, should be allowed
to be imported into Newfoundland except from Great
Britain. Sellers of alcoholic liquor were to be licensed.
To prevent enticing away of seamen, it was proposed that
masters of New England ships should be compelled to
enter into bonds not to sail with more than their
complement. Masters were to be obliged by penalty and a
bond to carry their full complement of sailors and
"green" men according to law. The revival of the
system of paying wages by shares in the fishery
was recommended. The French ought to be stopped
bringing their fishing tackle and goods to St. Peters
and Placentia annually from France, and also from
leaving their boats at Petit Nore, and the inhabitants
of Cape Breton and French Indians from hunting and
furring at Cape Ray. The military must be prohibited
from concerning themselves in the fishery. These
regulations, with penalties for infringements, to be
embodied in a new act (70 i.). In the meantime the
Commodore of the Convoys of the Fishing Fleets in 1716
and 1717 received additional Instructions for putting
several of these suggestions into practice (183 i., 558 ii.).
A petition from Bideford for further protection from
pirates for the fishing ships, revealed a gratifying increase
in the sailings for the fishery in 1717 (479, 480).
Reports by the Commodore.; Garrison and fortifications at Placentia.; Report by the Comptrollers of the accounts of the Army.
A report by the Commodore for 1716 gave returns of
the fishery and repeated the need of reforms (402 i., ii.).
The value of Isle of May as a source of salt for the fishery
was emphasised, and its need of protection by a man of
war (69, 69 i.). Mr. Secretary Stanhope wrote to Lt.-Governor Moody rebuking him for the confusion of the
accounts and lack of muster rolls of the garrison in
May, 1716 (184). But this was no relief to the unfortunate soldiers who remained in the most deplorable condition for lack of provisions, clothes, and pay (351, 366,
538, 538 i.). Charges were brought against Moody of
trading and profiteering in their supplies (560). He
applied for leave to return and answer them (538, 538 i.,
676). As a reduction of the garrison had been contemplated, the Council of Trade suggested that the
surplus of men should be sent to strengthen the garrison
on the frontiers of New York. Estimates were submitted
for the construction of a new fort instead of repairing
the old fortification at much greater expense (100,
100 i.–iii., 102). It was not until the end of July, 1717,
that the Comptrollers of the accounts of the Army
announced that they had ordered the dispatch of clothing
and provisions. At the same time they recommended
the recall of Moody to answer the charges against him
and state the accounts. Whilst approving the proposals
of the Board of Ordnance for reducing the garrison and
building a new and small fort, the Comptrollers gave
their views upon the residents of Newfoundland, to whom
they attributed the greater part of the responsibility
for the disorders in the fishery. They recommended
the removal of "these miserable bankrupts," who could
not be brought to order by any regulations, in order that
there might be no inducements for any merchants but
those who were "truly intent upon the Fishery" (676).
Case of M. Tulon.; Report by the Council of Trade.
The case of one M. Tulon caused much controversy.
This Frenchman, having taken the oaths of allegiance
and bought a plantation in Newfoundland, brought a
ship and supplies from St. Malo, acting for the original
French owner of the plantation in question. Some
Fishing Admirals, who objected to the competition of
the French with their own cargoes of salt, prohibited
his landing, and appealed to Lt.-Governor Moody, who
interposed on behalf of His Majesty's new subjects
and the fishermen who needed supplies (44 ii., 46, 47 i.–iii.,
76, 439 i., ii., 468 v.). On his next voyage, some fish
caught by Tulon and his French servants, was seized by
the Fishing Admirals and shipped in a Guernsey vessel,
with instructions to the master to render an account of
their proceedings to the Privy Council. On his arrival
at Bilboa, however, the master was thrown into prison,
and the fish seized at the instance of a French merchant
representing Tulon. Stanhope ordered a very strong
representation to be made to the Court of Madrid upon
this "violence and injustice of the Biscayners" in a
thing "they have no right to meddle with" (439,
439 i.–ix., 468, 468 i., ii., 492–494, 502). The Attorney-General gave his opinion that if Tulon was qualified as a
British subject, his fishing with the aid of foreign servants
was no infringement of the act (481 i., 491, 491 i.–xi.).
But the Council of Trade repeated their opinion that the
employment of foreign fishermen, and fishing with
tackle brought from foreign countries ought to be prohibited. Tulon was not a naturalised British subject
and therefore, according to the Attorney-General, had
no right to fish at Newfoundland. The bringing of
servants, tackle, and goods from France, and such action
as that of the Bilboans must be firmly discouraged. But
since Tulon had taken the oath of allegiance, he might
be entitled to some consideration. These ends would
best be served by remitting the value of the fish to Tulon,
after it had first been returned to the Crown (551).
Words and phrases.
One or two words and phrases are worth noting. The
pirates' Daudorus (Deuchandorus), or farewell greeting,
to a small boy who wished to leave them, took the form
of a good whipping (p. 212). Two "maroon periaguas"
are mentioned (411 i.). Colonel Rhett, abusing the
Lt.-Governor of S. Carolina, called him a "Lurkenburg
dog" (268 h.).
The most important representations printed in this
volume are those on Naval Stores (515 i.), and Newfoundland (70 i.).