America and West Indies
June 1716, 11-19

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Institute of Historical Research

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Cecil Headlam (editor)

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1930

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107-128

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'America and West Indies: June 1716, 11-19', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 29: 1716-1717 (1930), pp. 107-128. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=73992 Date accessed: 22 October 2014.


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June 1716, 11-19

June 11.202. Receipt of Tho. Johnson for £20 recd. from Capt. William Murrey on account of the transportation of Mr. John Porteus to Virginia or Carolina, in order to serve John Lord Carteret the term of 7 years (v. June 13). Signed, pr. Tho. Johnson. Copy. [C.O. 5, 290. p. 97.]
June 12.
Jamaica.
203. Governor Lord A. Hamilton to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Refers to enclosures. We heartily wish we could have been earlyer with these assurances of our duty; but our distance from one another, my own indisposition after two such fatiguing and unsuccessfull sessions of Assembly with some other intervening accidents has made the delay unavoidable; however we hope for the honour of your Lopps.' countenance to these Addresses. Herewith comes likewise duplicates of the three Acts past the last Assembly, as also copys of the Bills mention'd in the Representation of the Council, by which your Lopps. will better judge of the views of the Assembly in those Bills, and of the amendments of the Council disagreed to by the other. I have allready acquainted your Lopps. with the unhappy conclusion of that Assembly, and with the expedient made use of for the immediate support of H.M. Government, which I begin to find will sooner fail me then I expected by reason of the difficultys and delays the recovery of the outstanding debts upon that Additional Duty fund are like to meet with. The Representation and Memoriall of the Council are so full and put the affairs of this Island in so true and cleare lights that little room is left me to add thereto. Your Lopps. will observe in the Memoriall what methods are humbly offer'd for the support of H.M. Government and better peopleing this Colony, in which I intirely agree with the Council, could I have any dependance upon a new Assembly or be of opinion that they might be brought into such an Act as is there proposed, but I think it my duty to acquaint you, that I cannot after what I have lately seen, answer for the success of it, tho' H.M. should even be prevail'd with to recommend it. To such a hight of insolence and obstanacy are some men arriv'd, so that there seems an absolute necessity that an expedient be thought of. I am very unwilling myself to propose any, which may be a discouragement to the whole Island, and I'm sensible the makeing laws for them in Britain wou'd be thought such by the Council, and the most sober and well disposed men in the Island, and yet I can think of but one other expedient in nature, and that is to impower the Governor and Council with the inforceing such a law in case of an Assembly's refusing to join in it. This was done before Assemblys were establish'd, and may perhaps convince them best that Assemblys have their being from H.M. Patent under the Broad Seal of Great Brittain, and that it is extream vanity in them to assume all the priviledges of a House of Commons. When you observe my Lords that the Council have even blam'd me for too much lenity in my Government, you will not believe I am aiming at power to gratify any views, but such as are for H.M. service, and if this expedient may meritt your consideration I wou'd humbly propose likewise that the number of the Council might be augmented to 15, so that 12 might be allways resident, and which indeed I conceive whatever your determinations are to be of singular use and service to the Island, towards retrieving a just ballance of power and interest in it, and if this shall be thought proper, I presume to recommend James Risbee, John Campbell, John Morant, Joseph Hodges, George Mudd after those allready recommended as men of good estates and clear characters, and by the most impartiall judgements I can make in all respects best qualify'd for that trust. In a former I acquainted you of the Assemblys having presumed to raise money by a kind of ordinance which was so warmly espoused in their House that I'm well inform'd 1100 pounds was subscrib'd by the members only, the writting subscrib'd to, tho' twice formally read and sign'd in the House, they have stifled in their Minutts, but I am well assured the same was in the following words. "Whereas it must be adjudged necessary and convenient not only for the getting such laws confirm'd in Great Britain as shall be passed in this Island, but for the solliciting and transacting of all such matters as shall tend to the wellfare of the same that a sufficient sume of money should be sent home for the ends and purposes aforesd. (no solliciting Bill being now in force). We therefore whose names are underwritten members of this present Assembly do for the carrying on of so good and necessary a work voluntarily and chearfully subscribe the severall sumes following, which we promise to pay in respectively at demand into such hands as the majority of the subscribers shall think fitt to order the same, hence to be remitted to the Kingdom of Great Britain into the hands of Sr. Gilbert Heathcote, Knt., or any other person or persons to be by him or them apply'd for the ends and purposes aforesaid." Subscriptions of this kind have been with great zeal and industry sollicitted by some of the late members all the country over; what all the subscriptions may amount to I know not but I'm well inform'd part of the money raised is some time since remitted to one March a principall agent of theirs. I am not able to accot. for this extraordinary step otherwise then that it is made use off to delude the ignorant people here out of their money to carry on private ends, and reward their sollicitters at home against their Governors, but I hope they will now be call'd upon to show the grounds they have for complaints, and if they are found to be insufficient that methods may be taken to oblige the collectors of this money to accot. for it one way or other, that it may be restored or apply'd to publick service, and to prevent so unwarrantable a practice for the future, without which it will ever be impossible for H.M. service to be carried on here. I am now to lay before you some matters of a quite different nature which very essentially effect this Colony, therefore must not be omitted. Since the cessation of arms and the conclusion of the peace with Spain H.M. subjects in these parts have contrary thereto been often robb'd and plunder'd both by sea and land by Spaniards, and severall British vessells, have been taken on the seas passing on their lawfull occasions by Spanish vessells under colour of commissions for guarding their coasts, and frequently by vessells having no commissions, for which no other pretence, has in some cases been found, then that some few Spanish pistolls or inconsiderable sums of coin'd silver of that nation (which is our court. money) has been found on board, which they have pretended was counterband goods, some vessells indeed have been seized on their coast on suspition of trade, and have been detain'd and keept without any proof of their having traded and without any legall condemnation. Of all which I have made repeated instances and demands for restitution, to the respective Spanish Governments without being able in any one instance, to obtain the least satisfaction to the partys aggriev'd, tho I had given an example of that kind immediatly after the cessation by causeing exact restitution to be made for goods of a considerable vallue taken off Hispaniola the cessation being then even unknown to the captors. These frequent losses and injurys sustain'd by our merchts. and tradeing people, and our Navigation being rendered extreamly dangerous, even beyond what it was in time of open war; H.M. ships and vessells which have been on this station haveing not been sufficient, and indeed of little use for preventing such insults, being restrain'd by their orders from cleaning abroad, and thereby as well as by their bigness rendered unfitt to goe after clean light and nimble vessells. And haveing been frequently importuned by the clamours of our tradeing people, I was prevail'd upon at last to grant commissions to some to arm and cruize upon pirates and all necessary precautions were taken to prevent any inconveniencys by such commissions but the Spanish Flota hapening to be shipwreck't about the same time two or three of these comission'd vessells and severall others have gon thereon, which will be explained to you by the Minutts of the Council herewith transmitted, and finding reason to believe some ill uses had been made of these commissions I thought proper to recall them by proclamation as like wise to prohibite fishing or diveing on those wrecks, as will appear (Minutes of Council page 214). One of these comission'd vessells has retaken a sloop belonging to merchts. of this Island sometime since seiz'd by the Spaniards with a considerable cargo, which not appearing to have been condemn'd in any port belonging to the Spaniards tho' it appears the vessell had been in severall since the first capture she has been sent in as piratically taken by the Spaniards, and condemn'd in the Court of Admiralty here with the Spanish cargo, nobody appearing to claim or defend. I understand an appeal is now intended. I shall take the best measures I possibly can that justice may be done; but my Lds. you will easily discern the difficultys I labour under in an affaire of this nature, with mutuall complaints and disorders; on the one hand the Spaniards have been the first aggressors and H.M. subjects in these parts have long suffered many and great losses, on the other our Buckaneers and seafareing people exasperate thereby and tempted by the allurements of rich wrecks, have at length I'm affraid, presum'd to make reprisalls. The most usefull strength of this Island are our seafareing people; rigorous prosecutions will I doubt drive them all from us. And yet I conceive it indispensably necessary that justice be done H.M. allys, and exemplary punishment inflicted on notorious offenders; in order to this some have been try'd lately for robbing a Spanish boate in a remote harbour of this Island, and one man was condemn'd to be hanged for that robbery, but was from under the gibbett resqu'd by the mobb at Port Royall. This riote together with an insolent robbery committed on a vessell in Port Royall harbour seized by the King's Officers, with their waiters aboard, and the goods by arm'd men carry'd away in the night are such dareing attempts that I thought it necessary with the advice of the Council to issue out a Proclamation promissing a reward and pardon to the discoverer. Strict examinations have likewise been taken, but no discovery is yet made. The want at this time of the protection of any of H.M. ships is an unlucky circumstance at this juncture and doubtless gives incouragement to the frequent robberys and disorders comitted at sea. Having now troubled your Lopps. with so many and such volumanius papers, from which upon the whole you will discern the necessity of speedy measures for better peopleing the Island and for supporting the Governmt. and authority of the Crown incroach'd upon by a part of the Legislature exceeding their due and reasonable bounds strengthening themselves with pretences of publick good, and of their own priviledges as the representatives of the people, a few designing and malicious men imposeing and deludeing the Generality so far infatuate as to seem insensible of their present danger, and regardless of their future safety and true interest. These disorders my Lords call for H.M. own interposition, and I shall conclude with humbly intreating your Lopps.' favour in obtaining such speedy and effectuall directions for the redress of them as the necessity and circumstances of our affairs require. Signed, A. Hamilton. Endorsed, Recd. 13th Augt., Read 5th Sept., 1716. 12½ pp. Enclosed,
203. i. Memorial of the Council of Jamaica to the Council of Trade and Plantations, 13th March, 1715/16. Refer to former Representation etc. Continue:—We humbly offer it as our opinion that in order to redress the unhappy state of our affairs here, two things which H.M. has been pleas'd to recommd. are both absolutly necessary to be comply'd with, to wit, that an honourable provision be made for H.M. Revenue; and effectuall measures taken for better peopling the Island. By an honourable provision wee humbly conceive ought to be understood a Revenue equall to the annuall charge of the Government, the latter now exceeding the former about £2000 per annum. This has been occationed in great measure by the decrease of inhabitants, the consumption decreasing and consequently the dutys upon imposts; and to this want of an annuall supply to support what wee may call the Civill List, wee think the weakness of the just authority of the Government and the growth and power of party is cheifly to be imputed. The charge of the Government wee compute at £6000 and the Revenue at £4000: besides which there is near £3000 per annum wanting to provide an additional subsistance for the two independant Companys, so long as H.M. shall think fit to continue them. My lords, wee think there are but two ways by which this may be possibly remedy'd, either by lessening the charge of the Government, or encreasing the Revenue. As to the first, wee confess wee cannot see how the charge of the government can be materially lessned, wee are sencible some among us have projects of proposing this by desiring H.M. to appoint a Lieut. Governour which has the appearance of saving £1250 pr. annum, even this is not sufficient, and will still leave H.M. Government in the power of a party to support or distress it, besides many advantages our Governours have formerly made are taken away by that beneficial Act for quieting possessions; and their perquisits are not so great in time of peace as in warr, and wee therefore think it our greatest happiness and best security at this distance that their sallary and just advantages shou'd be such as may not subject them to temptations, for which reasons wee cannot think this a fit expedient, etc. The Additionall Duty Bill as it was prepar'd this last session of the Assembly with the amendments made by the Council wee humbly offer to your Lordships' consideration as what wou'd not only answer all the occations of the Government but wou'd admit of about £2000 pr. annum to be laid out in bringing over and setling inhabits., and this wee humbly conceive to be the easiest and most equall tax that can be laid upon the inhabitants, especially considering the planters by the Acts of 1703 and 1712 for bringing over and providing for white people in case they are put in execution are sufficiently taxt already for their deficiencys. And wee humbly offer to your Lordships' consideration in case you shou'd think fit to recommend the passing such an Act, if it wou'd not be more advisable that it be past for some few years, etc., during which time Acts for the encrease of inhabitants may take effect, and the divisions amongst us may be heal'd or worn out. But in such case wee humbly recommend to your Lordships, that you will be pleas'd to advise H.M. to give the Governour instructions not to disuse or lay aside Assemblys but to direct the same to be called every year and to allow them liberty to sit and pass such laws as may be thought necessary for the better regulating the affairs of the Island and that they may have full and free liberty to inspect all publick accts. and see the application of all publick mony and represent the same to H.M. as they may find occation. This is what wee cou'd heartily wish an Assembly cou'd be prevailed upon to come into etc., but if they shou'd not, we beg your Lordships to think of such expedients as may be least exceptionable and admit of the least delay, which our condition will not admit and wee are perswaded from your Lordships' observations upon the proceedings in this Island etc., that you will not advise H.M. to leave the Government any longer to subsist precariously, etc. As to peopling the Island wee have seriously consider'd all that H.M. had been pleased to recommend as likewise what your Lordships have wrote etc. Wee intirely agree that the Act for regulating servants is too severe etc., but the same has rarely been executed with strictness, and wee think it ought not to be untill it may be repeal'd and a better regulation substituted. Wee likewise agree with your Lordships that all possible indulgence ought to be given for the encouragemt. of people to settle among us, and shall be ready to give our consents to any such laws, in the mean time wee are humbly of opinion that the Acts in force for the encouragement of bringing them over ought to be put in execution and have great hopes that a considerable number of inhabitants may be acquired thereby. Your Lordships will find that one of the Acts you have taken notice of, 25th Aprill, for encouraging the importation of white servants is repeal'd by a clause in an Act to encourage the importation of white men, which last wee think to be a good law. By this Act every planter is obliged to keep one white man for his first 10 negroes young and old, and two for the first 20, and one for every 20 after the first and in the like manner for the first 60 head of cattle horses etc., one white man and one for every 100 after the first 60: the passags. of these men are required to be paid by the Receiver Generall and are to be plac't upon the planters according to such deficiencys, and they are oblidg'd to reimburse the Receiver Generall for them again who is to apply that mony towards paying the passages of others, so that this is a perpetual fund and only wants a sum of mony to enable the Receiver Generall to make the first disbursemts. for which £500 was appropriated by that Act but little as it was we don't find it was ever apply'd; by the proportion of white men to black at this time wee compute at least 2000 men might be provided for by this deficiency. By the same Act every boat wherry or canno is required to keep a white man or forfeit 40s. pr. month which wou'd be a provision for at least 200 men more. And by another Act past in 1712 to encourage white men to come and settle etc. there is a further provision made by obliging vessells trading about the Island, hackney coaches and waines to employ white people, so that wee cannot think there is altogether so great want of laws etc. as of a virtuous and strict execution of these laws and of others to establish and fix them here as inhabitts. by providing a good and comfortable prospect of living for servants when their time is expired, either in the planting interest or in trades. Indeed what seems most defective in these laws is that there is no provision for the encouragement of women which defect we hope may be remedy'd hereafter. Wee intirely agree with your Ldshps. in the encouragement you propose of granting small parcells of land to new comers to settle and are of opinion with those gentlemen who sign'd a memorial to your Lordships that a reasonable tax upon uncultivated land of which there are great quantitys wou'd be the best means to induce the present proprietors to cultivate or sell the same and untill such purchases can be made to those uses have made our humble application to the Governour to grant no more warrants for pattenting any land which now remaines in H.M. to person who are already possest of large tracts, but to reserve the same for the purposes aforesaid, however when such grants come to be made wee humbly conceive there ought at the same time to be a fund provided to give credit to such new setlers for a slave or two for six months provision at least and for propper tools. To begin such a settlement without which help it will be almost impossible for them to have any benefit by such grants, especially considering the lands so to be granted will lye mostly in uninhabited parts of the Island very distant from any markets, and if such credt. was given them without interest and the publick to be paid out of the produce of the land granted and such new settlers were at the same time exempted from all taxes and all dutys civill and military (except only in cases of insurrection or invasion) for the first three years wee think this wou'd be an encouragemt. equall to any given at Hispaniola where they are abundantly increased of late and woud be sufficient to augment the number of provision plantations and small settlements in which and not in great plantations the strength of the planting interest with respect to numbers of white people must consist. And if this encouragement or a suitable prospect in trade or handycrafts was to be the reward of every servt. after three or four years service, wee are apt to beleiv it would not only render such service much more agreable, but that a larger improvemt. would be made by servants provided for in the manner above untill they were season'd to the country and understood the nature of planting, than by persons free at their arrivall for whom no other provision was made than such a grant of land, at the same time wee are not against your Lordships' method of freeing them at their arrivall either with such helps as are necessary or as soon as there can be any expectation of their being able to provide for themselves. And wee are humbly of opinion that all such purchases and grants will be best made by the Crowne with such clauses and restrictions as your Lordships shall think proper to recommend. Wee likewise agree with your Lordships with respect to trades and humbly conceive the most effectual means of putting an end to negroe tradesmen wou'd be by a register to be taken of all that now are or have been for a year last past brought up to any trade and to tollerate such and suffer them to dye away providg. under severe penaltys that no slave for the future be brought up or employ'd in them either in plantn. or in the townes with such exceptions only as to master workmen; as may be thought reasonable. This wee think most likely to be effected by a saving to the present Proprietors which wee conceive to be most reasonable, because many persons and some widdows and orphans have now their whole subsistance from such slaves, and as these wear out white men wou'd by degrees as wee get them come into all trades, and have a prospect in time of being only employ'd in them. And as great numbers of H.M. subjects have of late been seduc't by the enemies of our constitution and engaged in an unnatural rebellion, to many of whom H.M. in his princely clemency may be pleas'd to extend his mercy but at the same time think fit to order their transportation, wee presume humbly to propose, yt. so many of such persons may be immediatly sent hither as H.M. shall think fit, who may be provided for by the Acts now in force, only that wee must beg your Lordships to interceed in our behalf that their passages may be paid by H.M., untill by such methods as your Lordships shall advise H.M. Revenue shall be put into a condition to pay the debts of the government and defray such other charges, etc. The maxim upon which wee would people the Island and in which wee have the misfortune to be overpower'd by numbers, is to indulge and cherish new-comers and small settlements and to throw the burthen chiefly on those who are best able to bear it, which however wee conceive wou'd be made up to them by raising the vallue of estates in proportion as it renders them more secure. Signed, Fra. Rose, John Stewart, John Peekee, Valentine Mumbee, Rd. Rigby, Tho. Bernard, James Archbould, John Sadler. Endorsed as preceding. 8¾ pp.
203. ii. Representation of the Council of Jamaica to the Council of Trade and Plantations. March 13, 1715/16. Wee having to our great concern seen H.M. particular recommendations to this colony prove ineffectuall; and that no supplys have been given for the support of his government, nor any measures taken for increasing our people, think it highly incumbent upon us to lay before your Lordships the substance and the reason of our people, think it highly incumbent upon us to lay before your Lordships the substance and the reason of our proceedings in the late generall Assembly, etc. The Governor's speech was little more than a communication of H.M. letter etc. But wee soon perceived the same disposition prevail which had unhappily divided us for some years past, the Assembly kept their inclination to address separately, and wee being unable to agree with them in their resentments, and unwilling to run the risque of any fresh difference with them upon that head, join'd with the Governour in a separate Address etc. Their Address the Assembly ordered to be transmitted by their Speaker without any application to the Governour and as a further disrespect to him instead of addressing him in answer to his speech, as had always been practic'd by former Assemblys, they only sent him a message by two of their members to acquaint him with their resolutions, etc. As to their resolution that if the whole Regiment had been disbanded it would have been of more service to it, etc. wee were very much surpriz'd, since very few of those who were broke with the Regimt. have remain'd amongst us, etc. Whilst the Assembly were taking such resolutions as these which wee conceived but ill presages of any good effects to the country; we appointed a Committee to draw up an estimate of H.M. Revenue which had always been usuall for the Council to do, and we found a ballance of £6148 12s. 1¼d. wanting to make good that estimate besides £2000 for which wee had given credit by outstanding debts, so that upon a ballance of cash H.M. Revenue was really £8000 in debt and wee desired the Governour to send the same to the Assembly, etc. Wee then took into consideration the trade of the Island and the state of our currant mony, and being sencible there had for some time been a clandestine trade carried on with the French at Hispaniola chiefly by mony which was so beneficiall to them that the Comte Blanac, Governour of that Island had been heard to say that in a little time he wou'd bring every ryall from Jamaica thither; this trade had been carried on as well by sloops as by severall ships bound for Great Brittain who in their passage home had used to touch there to purchase indigo which not only drain'd us of our currt. coin, but discouraged as well the manufacture of Great Brittain as that of this Island, and was a means likewise to defraud H.M. of his Customs upon the importation of foreign goods, wee therefore prepared a Bill as near as cou'd be to the 7th and 8th of K. Wm. to prevent the exportation of gold and silver to all parts except Great Brittain, and H.M. Colonys in America. But the Assembly made such amendments to it as intirely defeated the intent of our Bill which was thereby lost, and tho they afterwards to save appearances in the country, past another Bill to prevent all fraudulent trade to Hispaniola and other foreign parts, to wch. wee consented being all wee cou'd gett, yet were wee satisfy'd their Bill wou'd neither answer the intent nor was it their real intention to hinder the exportation of our coin since severall of their leading members were at that very time concern'd in this trade. As you will observe many other bills lost by means of amendments, wee have desired the Governour to transmit to your Lordships, all the bills that have been raised by either body during this Assembly, with the amendments made by the other part of the Legislature, that your Lordships may judge to whom the loss of any beneficiall Acts is to be imputed. The first bill wee received from them was a bill to explain an Act relating to escheats, which wee rejected because inconsistent with that so much desired Act for quieting possessions, and would deprive the subject of much of the benefit intended him by that Act, and render the titles under escheat pattents so very precarious that nobody wou'd venture to purchase them, and consequently great quantitys of land must lye waste which it was our business to get cultivated, and which the Act for preventing of lawsuits was intended to encourage etc. Wee can discover no other aim by this Bill than to deprive the Governour of some accidentall perquisites. If your Lordships shall be of opinion it were better to sell escheats by outcry, tho' there may be some objections to that method wee shall readily come into it. The same morning the Assembly sent us up a Bill for repealing an Act for the better securing the property of orphans and creditors, and to oblige executors to give security etc. By our adhering to our amendments, the Bill miscarried. This Act which the Assembly wou'd have repeal'd lyes now under your Lordships' consideration, and wee think the great abuses committed here in executorships makes such an Act absolutely necessary. As well in the Bill to repeal this Act as in severall others, the Assembly have recited great inconveniencys to have hapned without being able to particularize any, however, if wee cou'd have had that Act explain'd agreable to our amendments, wee shou'd have prefer'd it, because the security requir'd wou'd then have been ascertain'd, and our Governours restrain'd from granting the administration with the will annext otherwise than the law directs; if your Lordships approve such an explanation, and be pleas'd to recomd. it, wee shall readily agree to it, in the mean time wee hope your Lordships will recommend that before you for H.M. approbation. The next bill wee received was for granting further releif in relation to proving wills etc., which appeared to us to be intended to transfer the power of ordinary from the Governour in whom H.M. had plac't it and to vest it in the Secretary and the Grand Court and as wee conceived it was not any ways likely to provide a speedy remedy as the Assembly wou'd have been thought to intend but rather have serv'd to multiply law-suits wee rejected it. Soon after this they sent us another Bill for applying £900 for the soliciting the passing of laws etc., by which we were oblidg'd to do the like, your Lordships will observe that in effect four of their own members were to be intrusted with representing the affairs of this Island etc., without the least privity of the Governour or any one member of the Council; which wee thought two extensive a power to be lodg'd in persons who had discover'd so much passion and resentment, but to convince your Lordships that wee were not averse to a soliciting bill consistent with H.M. honour and the trust reposed in his Governour and Council, wee offer'd them that if they wou'd pass such an one as might entrust a gentleman of distinction in Great Brittain, disinterested in this Island who might receive his instructions from the Governour, Council and Assembly when sitting, and when no Assembly from the Governour and Council, to whom the Speaker might always be join'd and all the instructions given in the intervall of Assemblys to be laid before them at their next meeting; wee cou'd readily come into it; this they did not think fit to accept of, but chose rather to set on foot subscriptions in their own house etc. ut supra., and have thereby rais'd a much more considerable sum, etc. At length after a month's sitting wee received a Mony Bill to oblige the inhabitants to provide themselves with a sufficient number of white people, etc. or pay certain sums, and another to encourage the bringing over white people etc., which were blended together in the nature of a tack, and upon these depended our expectations of being able to comply with H.M. most gracious letter, wee soon found how much wee were likly to be disapointed. Your Lordships will best judge what regard they have shewn to your letter and the articles of H.M. Instructions sent to them by the Governour relating to the peopling the Island, wch. they never vouchsaf'd to enter upon their Minutes or so much as to read in the House, etc. Wee hope your Lordships will be of opinion these Bills were not fit to be past without amendments. The most material of those wee made to the first were to provide that the mony raised shou'd be paid into the hands of H.M. Receiver Generall and issued according to the directions of H.M. Pattent and Instructions to the Governour, to rectifye the partiall taxation of the King's Officers and to provide as well for recruits sent from Europe as the soldiers already enlisted; and to the second wee made the like amendments, as to the Receiver Generall; wee propos'd a better encouragmt. for people at their landing; and a better method for the purchasing lands and conveying them to new setlers, and wee gave releif to the Towne of Kingston who to the number of 150 persons petitioned us against a clause by which they apprehended their towne wou'd be ruin'd and set forth with reason that their greviance was the greater because theirs only was effected by it. Compare the bill with that of 1703 which gave greater encouragements and would have been superceded by this. These bills instead of peopling the Island wou'd probably have drove away great numbers of our trading people or at least (as some have thought the design was) to settle at Port Royall to avoid the tax, and instead of providing for the Independant Companys in the manner H.M. had been pleas'd to recommend, were calculated in effect to prevent their being recruited. The Assembly refus'd us so much as a conference upon either, and as to our amendments told us in a manner wee think too insulting, that the only amendment they cou'd think of admitting (if it was not against their rules) was instead of a name to say the names. They began now to tell us that wee must not only not amend mony bills but wee must have no hand in providing for the peopling our country; it behoov'd us to shew wee had a right to both, and wee desir'd the Governor to send them an extract out of your Lordships' letter, April 25, 1715, wherein you were pleas'd to declare it such, and the Governour sent them down at the same time, extracts out of H.M. Pattent, and instructions conformable to which our amendments relating to the Receiver Generall and to the issuing of publick mony were made. These had so little effect upon the Assembly that they did not think fit to read them in the House. However wee thought it our interest as well as our duty to have more regard to them since wee were convinc'd they had been calculated for the benefit and advantage of the King's subjects. It has been but within these very few years that Assemblys have taken upon them to nominate commissioners for the receipt of publick monys and having bestow'd such commissions from time to time on the favourites of different partys alternatively as they prevail'd, the publick mony has been transfer'd from one hand to another till some has been charg'd with 9 some with 13 and some with 17 p.ct. commission and upwards, of which wee laid a computation before the Assembly and show'd them that the publick had been charg'd with above £5000 for extraordinary commission in a very few years; more than wou'd have been in case the mony had been paid into the hands of the Receiver Generall. Wee will not take upon ourselves to give your Lordships the reasons why Governours of late have suffer'd this practice to be introduc'd, nor can wee tell whether these instructions have been given to former Governours which has been industriously given out by the partysans of the Assembly and an argument drawn from thence that being old and not having been regarded for some time past they were not to be regarded now, etc. Your Lordships' declaration of our right to amend money bills is agreable to the almost uninterupted practice of former Assemblys, etc. On Dec. 27th wee received a bill to impose dutys to defray the extraordinary charges of the Government etc., out of the fund to be rais'd by this Bill £3000 only was apply'd to H.M. Revenue, and £2000 was indeed again apply'd to the subsistance of the Companys for the year ensuing; but this was to be purchas'd by the same and greater concessions than the bills wee had just rejected. Mr. John Chaplin a favourit of the now prevailing party, was appointed Commissioner into whose hands as well the mony arising by this Act, as about 7 or £8000 already raised by a former Act of this kind, and now in the hands of Mr. Major; was required to be paid, and Mr. Chaplin was to have 7 p.c. commission upon the whole by this Bill. Mr. Major had already received 4 p.c. upon what was in his hands; Messrs. Page and Welch Commissarys were to have 7½ p.c. upon £2000 to be transfer'd to them by Mr. Chaplin for the account of the soldiers, and the Receiver Generall 5 p.c. upon £3000 transfer'd to the account of H.M. Revenue whereas if all the publick mony raised was paid into the hands of H.M. Receiver Generall, according to H.M. Instructions, 2½ p.c. wee think wou'd be a sufficient allowance, and then the extraordinary commission upon the mony raised and to arise by this Bill amounts to £1340 which wou'd have been thereby saved to the publick. By the Receiver Generall's patent the receipt of all dutys upon imports is expressly granted to him and which wee dont find to have ever been alienated from that office till within these few years, since the Assemblys have began their encroachments, and this has occation'd a further extraordinary charge to the Government by a double number of waiters. And a double charge and trouble to traders and shiping by oblidging ym. to enter in two offices instead of one. Another encroachment the Assemblys have made of late years upon the authority of the Government has been by incerting clauses in their Bills to issue mony, and particularly for gratifying the officers attending them, who had always till of late been rewarded by the Governmt. upon the recommendation of the Assembly; by this bill they have exceeded all former precedents of their own and brought in a Chaplin and his clerk for a share of publick mony, in order to increase the number of their dependants, etc. In their taxation of the King's Officers, this Assembly has varied from all former and instead of laying their taxes according to the precedents for many years past they have taxt H.M. Attorney Generall whose office was never taxt before, and have doubled the tax of some officers and eas'd others according to their private inclinations to the persons and without any examination into or regard to the vallue of the office, this they have carried to such a height that pattentees of offices in England have been warn'd by the Agents of the Assembly (as may reasonably be supposed from their acting agreable to such warning) to advise their deputys here not to espouse the cause they have done; meaning the Government's; (In margin: Mr. Compere, the Receiver Genll.) least their tax be increased for it. If such method be pursued and tollerated wee submit to your Lordships, who in effect must come to be Governours. Wee have a further reason to offer against appointing Commissioners for receipt of publick monys, since this practice has been introduc'd and particular men have been design'd to make advantages out of the publick, generally twice the mony has been rais'd to what has been apply'd to any imediate occation so that the residue has continued some years, at least as long as that party has prevailed in the hands of the commissioner, this has hapned in respect to the mony in Mr. Major's hands, and wou'd in all likelyhood have been the case if those bills now rais'd by the Assembly had past, not half the mony which they wou'd probably have rais'd being appropriated to any imediate service. The Assembly wou'd neither admit our right to amend or confer; and so this as the former came to nothing. Hereupon wee sent them a proposall, desiring them for the publick service and that no difference between us might obstruct our compliance in some measure with H.M. gracious letter; that they wou'd pass a short bill for applying the mony in Mr. Major's hands to the present exigencies of the Government in such manner as might not be contradictory to H.M. pattent and instructions; and to assure them that wee wou'd agree to it; and submit all other differences to H.M. determination etc. Wee received two other bills this session, one to secure the freedom of elections etc., to which we agreed with two amendments which wee cou'd hardly imagine possible to be refus'd. One was to oblige every voter if requir'd to take the oath to the Government; and the other, to oblidge them to swear their freehold was of the vallue of £30 currt. mony, but the Assembly chose rather to drop their bill than agree to the amendments. Some of our reasons for the latter amendment were: there has been a notorious practice by some of the leading men of this Assembly; and by the Messenger thereof which wee suppose has been his merit for the extravagant rewards they wou'd have given him, to create sham freeholders to vote; your Lordships will find severall extraordinary instances of this nature upon our Journalls; and such as wee are apprehensive might even call in question the legality of the Assemblys so chosen. By the same unwarrantable practice, a Governour might at any time pattent out the barren rocks, mountains and sands in this Island and carry elections as he pleas'd and wee thought this amendmt. wou'd equally prevent such practices on all sides, but this has serv'd a present turn, and therefore was not judg'd a good argument now. The other Bill was for the effectuall discovery of all persons that are disaffected to H.M. and his Government and to prevent all such persons holding any office etc. This my lords carried a very spacious title but wee were surpriz'd when wee read it to find it the most vigorous bill against Protestant Discenters of all sorts that had ever been past in any of H.M. Dominions since the Reformation; wee imediatly amended it by turning its edge against Papists only, and exempting all Protestant Discenters tollerated by the laws of England to which amendments the Assembly cou'd not but agree and so this Bill was past; but my Lords as wee had at that time sign'd an Association to stand by H.M. person and Governmt., and as wee have in our humble address to H.M. assured him that wee are in the cincerity of our hearts averse to the thoughts of the Pretender and the miserys of Popery and Slavery that must attend his success so wee cou'd rather wish wee had not join'd with the Assembly in the pretended instance of loyalty exprest by this Bill; even with our own amendments; wee think it very ill suited in many respects to our condition as an unpeopled Colony, and as such have desired the Governour to represent it to your Lordships tho' when your Lordships are fully appriz'd of the great clamour the Assembly have endeavour'd to stir up against us at this time, wee hope you will be satisfied wee were not in the wrong to agree to it with such amendments especially when you observe in it a clause to lay double taxes upon his Majesty's enemys, etc. At the opening the second session the Governour again recommended to them the complying with H.M. letter, and told them that if they did not take care to provide for the support of the Government, measures wou'd be taken elsewhere effectually to do it. But it soon appear'd there was little hopes of any such compliance, they return'd the Governour no other answer to his Speech than by their resolutions upon their Minutes which were no more than to do again what they had done in the last session; with this addition by their Committee (whether agreed to by the house or not does not appear) that if it had not been out of the utmost duty and regard to H.M. recommendation; they wou'd have rais'd no more mony whilst his Lordship continued in the Government. On 2nd Feb. they sent us a Bill for appropriating sever all sums of mony already arisen for the subsistance of H.M. officers and soldiers and discharging publick debts. Wee have already acquainted your Lordships that there was a sum of mony in Mr. Major's hands the same amounted in cash to about £3700; and above £4000 outstanding debts and had lain upwards of three years unapply'd, by this bill the Assembly apply'd £2000 to the subsistance of the soldiers and by particular clauses direct the issuing of upwards of £2700 more to particular persons and out of the remainder of the outstanding debts apply £3000 to H.M. Revenue. Your Lordships will readily conceive what an honourable provision here was made for H.M. Revenue, being very questionable whether so much of those outstanding debts will ever prove good as to have answer'd that application, and shou'd they have answer'd it wou'd have been a considerable time before they had been recover'd, and H.M. Revenue was expressly provided for by the bill to be supply'd in the last place. But there was a provision in this bill which seem'd to be intended to prevent its passing; that no private soldier shou'd receive any subsistance that was not actually enlisted in one of the Companys at the time the regiment was reduc'd; this was plainly intended to prevent recruits, and to suffer the Companys to dwindle away which wee thought wou'd appear highly disrespectfull to H.M. and wee therefore desired to know whether they wou'd admit of any amendmts. or confer with us, both which they peremptorily refus'd, telling us that to admit our amending mony bills was to subvert the constitution, tho' they had before them your Lordships' opinion that their pretence to exclude us from such a right was the real violation of it. Your Lordships will wee hope approve our rejecting this Bill which with respect to the recruits wee thought was showing a distrust of H.M. gracious assurances as well as of imediate diservice to the Island, etc. Refer to dissolution of Assembly, ut supra. Your Lordships will perceive there are two things principally aim'd at by the leading men of this Assembly who have blinded many others with specious pretences of publick service and the previldges of a house of Commons; these are to remove our present Governour; and likewise the two Independant Companys. In order to effect these extraordinary benefits to the Island numberless lyes and storys have been industriously spread about the country which are not easily answer'd where there is no press; by these the happy effect of H.M. great favour to us has been prevented by false suggestions of endeavours to obstruct them; and these they seem at last to hope to accomplish by distressing the Government here in giving no supplys and by means of the unjustifiable collections they have made, etc. Wee have a great personal esteem and regard for the Lord Archibald Hamilton as a person who has govern'd with great humanity and perfect integrity; yet our principall endeavours have been to act according to the best of our judgmts. etc., and if wee had been sencible of any real grievances or inconveniency likely to happen from H.M. instructions, wee wou'd have join'd with the Assembly in a dutifull representation of them, but wee have not thought it consistent with our duty to H.M. or the good of our country to join in pevish complaints stir'd up by the restless passion and prejudice of two or three persons against a Governour whose lenity in his Government has too much encouraged them but against whom not the least act of injustice or oppression that wee know of can be made appear, and wee submit it to your Lordships whether the yielding to the unreasonable desires of such men accompanied with such disrespectfull proceedings to H.M. be likely to be attended with any good effect to the authority of his Majesty or the good of this Island; wee think it will not, because instead of any oppression from our Governour; the eldest among us does not remember greater hardships offer'd nor greater oppressions done than have been by this Assembly to their fellow subjects, the particulars whereof your Lordships will find upon their own Journalls etc. As to the two Independant Companys, wee humbly offer that for the reasons contain'd in your Lordships' report, and for that chiefly, by the unhappy accident of the Spanish Wrecks from the allurement of which however unlawfull, it has not been possible to restrain our people, our number of inhabitants are still decreas'd whilst our neighbours on Hispaniola flourish under a much more unhappy Government, and for that the keeping constant guards wou'd too much harrass and discourage the middling and poorer sort of people, those Compnys. are wee think absolutly necessary for the good and safety of this Island to be kept on foot, at least untill wee shall have double the number of inhabitants that wee have at present, etc. Wee must not omit returning our humble thanks to your Lordships for having advis'd H.M. to restrain our Governours from suspending any of our body without just and sufficient causes and without the consent of a majority; by this wee have been enabled to act with freedom according to our consciences, etc. Wee entreat your Lordships to recommend the condition of this Colony to H.M. speedy and effectuall care. What wee have thought ourselves oblidged in the mean time to advise as H.M. Council to the Governour in consequence of our disapointments and of the mutinous disposition which had already been kindled among the soldiers, and in order to provide for the support of H.M. Government and the peace and quiet of his subjects, untill his further pleasure be signified; wee must leave to the Governour to acquaint your Lordships etc. v. supra. Signed and endorsed as preceding. 23 pp.
203. iii. Copy of an Association to stand by and assist each other in the support of H.M. person and Government and the succession of the Crown against the Pretender, bred up in all the principles of Popery and maxims of tyranny, and the horrid and detestable conspiracy of Papists and other wicked and traitorous persons etc. Dec. 31, 1715. 1p.
203. iv. Address of the Governour and Council of Jamaica to the King. Congratulate H.M. on his success in so speedily suppressing an unnatural and causeless rebellion, raised in favour of a Papist Pretender. This happy event secures their religion and liberty etc. Regret that their remoteness only enabled them to enter into the Association preceding. Regret that divisions stirred up by some few persons with private views, and fomented by groundless aspersions have prevailed to the obstruction of what H.M. so justly expected from this Island, etc. April 24, 1716. Signed, A. Hamilton, Will. Cockburn, Secry. By Order of the Council. 1 large p.
203. v. Address of the merchants and other inhabitants of Kingston to the King. Assure H.M. of their zeal and loyalty. Continue:— We were always firmly of opinion that not only our religion and libertys but the trade of Great Britain in all its branches depended upon your Majesty's establishment on the throne, and we had too much reason to fear when we were treated as robbers and pyrates in trade by the enemies of your Majesty's succession, that not only our trade, but this your Majesty's Island was designed as part of the sacrifice to their pernitious schemes. We have endeavoured to show our gratitude to your Majesty by choosing such members to represent us in the late Assembly as would effectually comply with what your Majesty was pleas'd to require etc. Pray that "measures may be taken for peopling the Island by an equal and impartial method, by which no particular man or body of men may be oppressed more than others, which had now been our own case by the ruin of this towne, had we not been delivered upon our petition by your Majesty's Council of this Island" etc. We assure your Majesty of our great satisfaction in the justice and integrity of our present Governor who has always encouraged and countenanced every fair trader, and whose singular prudence and moderation in his Government will we hope restore quiet amongst us etc. Signed, Jno. Wyllys and 44 others. Endorsed as covering letter. 1 large p. [C.O. 137, 11. Nos. 27, 27 i.–v.; and (without enclosures) 138, 14. pp. 459–472.]
June 12.
Office of Ordnance.
204. Board of Ordnance to the Council of Trade and Plantations. In reply to 8th June enclose following. Signed, M. Richards, Edwd. Ashe, Tho. Frankland. Endorsed, Recd. 15th, Read 19th June, 1716. 1 p. Enclosed,
204. i. Mr. Frankland to Mr. Popple. Encloses following. Signed, Tho. Frankland. 1 p.
204. ii.–viii. Accounts of stores of war sent to the Leeward Islands 1702–1707. Total value:—£15, 241 4s. 10d. Received, out of thep.c., £4749 4s. 5d. Balance due to the Ordnance Office, £10, 492 0s. 5d. Endorsed, Recd. 15th, Read 19th June, 1716. [C.O. 152, 11. Nos. 9, 9 i.–viii.; and (covering letter and enclosure ii. only) 153, 12. pp. 418, 419.]
June 12.
Whitehal.
205. Mr. Secretary Stanhope to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses letter and address from the Assembly of South Carolina (v. March 15) for their opinion thereon. Signed, James Stanhope. Endorsed, Recd. 13th, Read 14th June, 1716. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1265. No. 26; and (with copy of address) 5, 1293. pp. 1–5.]
[June 12.]206. Mr. Cary to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Reply to objections urged against the Act of Virginia for the better regulating the Indian trade. Signed, Robt. Cary. Endorsed, Recd. Read 12th June, 1716. 4½ pp. [C.O. 5, 1317. No. 33.]
June 12.
Whitehall.
207. Mr. Popple to Henry Martyn, Inspector General of the Customs. Requests two accounts of annual imports of peltry from Virginia and Carolina, Xtmas 1698–1715. [C.O. 5, 1364. p. 382.]
June 14.
Whitehall.
208. Mr. Pringle to Governor Craven. Mr. Secretary Stanhope being informed of your being in this place, desires to see you as soon as possibly you can at his office, and that you would come prepared to give him an account of what you know in relation to the affair of ye Marquis de Navarres, of wch. the Proprietors of Carolina, have undoubtedly writ to you, in pursuance of H.M. directions 10th Nov. and 13th Feb. last. Signed, Ro. Pringle. [C.O. 5, 190. p. 349.]
June 14.
Whitehall.
209. Mr. Popple to Mr. Burchett. Encloses extracts of Governor Hamilton's letter etc. 1st March, to be laid before the Lords Commissrs. of the Admiralty for H.M. pleasure thereupon. [C.O. 153, 12. p. 402.]
June 14.
Custom House.
210. Mr. Bicknell to Mr. Popple. Reply to June 12. We have no entries of peltry, so I presume they are made in some other name, etc. Signed, Jo. Bicknell. Endorsed, Recd. 14th, Read 15th June, 1716. ¾ p. [C.O. 5, 1317. No. 35; and 5, 1364. p. 383.]
June 15.
Whitehall.
211. Mr. Popple to Mr. Bicknell. Reply to preceding. By peltry is meant skins and furs, etc. [C.O. 5, 1364. p. 384.]
June 15.
Whitehall.
212. Same to Mr. Burchett. Encloses extracts from Governor Hamilton's letter, 10th April, etc. also relating to Capt. Soanes and the condition of his ship. Desires to know whether there be any other ship order'd to the Leeward Islands in his room. [C.O. 152, 12. p. 413.]
June 15.
Whitehall.
213. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Hamilton. Acknowledge letter of 1st March. We are glad to hear of your safe arrival. It will be a satisfaction to us to find the Assembly answer your expectation in providing for the defence of the Island of Antigua, and passing such other laws as you have recommended to them for their publick advantage. We have acquainted the Lords of the Admiralty as preceding, and we hope due care will be taken to have another sent you. It will be of service, if for the future you would be more particular in your accts. of any pirates in those seas, as to their force, from whence they come, what country men they are, when, and in what place they appear'd. We shall be glad to receive your acct. of the state, condition and nature of the Virgin Islands, with your opinion how far they may be render'd useful to this Kingdom, and to inform us the best you can, what trade is carry'd on between the British Plantations and the Island of St. Thomas. As to Anguilla and Spanish Town we must desire you will let us know how the Govrs. of those places are constituted, whether they have any salary, their number of people and what method of government they are under. It will be necessary that you be very particular and punctual in your correspondence with us that we may the better be able to lay before H.M. a true state of the Islands under your Governmt. with such accts. of their products as you are directed by your Instructions to send us. P.S. Acknowledge letter of 10th March, since received, and enclose copy of following. [C.O. 153, 12. pp. 414–416.]
June 15.
Admty. Office.
214. Mr. Burchett to Mr. Popple. Reply to 14th June. A ship will be sent to the Leeward Islands as soon as possibly may be, etc. Signed, J. Burchett. Endorsed, Recd. 16th, Read 19th June, 1716. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 11. No. 7; and 153, 12. p. 416.]
June 15.
St. James's.
215. Lord Carteret to Col. Rhett and Mr. Eden. H.M. having been graciously pleas'd to grant the request of some gentlemen who were taken in the rebellion at Preston in Lancashire that they may be transported into H.M. Colonies and Plantations in America; the bearer hereof Mr. John Porteus being one of those gentlemen, and consign'd to my service, I do give him his liberty, and do therefore desire you to receive him kindly as an inhabitant, and do him what friendly offices may be in your power. Signed, Carteret. Copy. [C.O. 5, 290. pp. 97, 98.]
June 18.
Whitehal.
216. Mr. Secretary Stanhope to the Council of Trade and Plantations. H.M. having been pleased to appoint Thomas Pitt, Senr., Esqr., to be Governor of Jamaica, I desire you will prepare the necessary Commission and Instructions, etc. Signed, James Stanhope. Endorsed, Recd. Read 19th June, 1716. 1 p. [C.O. 137, 11. No. 24; and 138, 14. pp. 451, 452.]
June 19.
Whitehal.
217. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Stanhope. Reply to preceding. Enclose draught of Commission for Governor Pitt. Memo. Mr. Pitt not going to Jama. and the drat. of a Commission being prepared for Col. Lawes instead, Mr. Pitt's commission is not entered etc. [C.O. 138, 14. p. 452.]
June 19.
Whitehall.
218. Mr. Popple to Mr. Attorney General. Encloses Act of Nevis, 1715, to settle the estate of Thomas Herbert on him and his heirs for ever, for his opinion in point of law, as soon as may be. [C.O. 153, 12. p. 147.]
[June 19.]
Custom House.
219. An account of the skins and furs imported from Carolina, Christmas, 1698–1715. Endorsed, Recd. 19th, Read 22nd June, 1716. 1 large p. [C.O. 5, 1265. No. 28.]
[? June 19.]220. A comparison of the quantity of skins and furs imported from Carolina and Virginia for three years before and after the late war. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 1317. No. 36.]
June 19.
Custom House.
221. Skins and furs annually imported from Virginia, Christmas, 1698–1715. Signed, Henry Martyn. Endorsed, Recd. 19th, Read 22nd June, 1716. 2 large pp. [C.O. 5, 1317. No. 36A.]