America and West Indies
May 1717, 16-31


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'America and West Indies: May 1717, 16-31', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 29: 1716-1717 (1930), pp. 303-322. URL: Date accessed: 23 November 2014.


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May 1717, 16-31

May 16.
570. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Hamilton. Acknowledge letters of 30th April, 25th May, 28th June, 12th July, 22nd Aug., 3rd Oct., 14th Dec. and 1st March last. Continue: We have nothing to add to what we writ 15th June in answer to 10th April, 1716, except in relation to the want of stores of war for the Leeward Islands, which matter we laid before H.M. 22nd June last, and so soon as H.M. pleasure shall be signified thereupon you shall have notice of it. In relation to the Virgin Islands, we have consider'd what you write upon that subject, but before we represent any further to H.M. concerning those Islands, we shall expect the more particular acct. of them which you promise after your visiting those parts upon the man of war's arrival, in the mean time we have transmitted to Mr. Secretary Methuen the informations you have given us relating to pirates in those seas in order to be laid before H.M., and have given notice of the same to the Admiralty, as likewise of what you write of the inconveniences for want of a man of war. Enclose Mr. Burchett's letter of 4th March. We shall consider the several Acts you have transmitted us and let you know H.M. pleasure when we receive the same upon any of them, and in particular relation to the Act pass'd at Antigua for settling £1000 that mony annually upon you in lieu of house rent, we humbly offer'd that H.M. be graciously pleas'd to permit you to receive the mony during his pleasure without confirming the said Act, and we doubt not but H.M. directions will be given therein accordingly. Upon the good character you have given Mr. Cochran we have recommended him for H.M. approbation as a Member of the Council of Antigua etc., and we doubt not but the Agent will transmit you H.M. Order thereupon. As to what you write, 1st March, we have transmitted a copy thereof and of the papers therein referr'd to relating to our logwood cutters in the Bay of Campechy and to pirates in the West Indies, to Mr. Secry. Addison in order to be laid before H.M. [C.O. 153, 13. pp. 30–32.]
May 16.
571. Circular letter from the Council of Trade and Plantations to the Governors and Proprietors of the Plantations. Whereas complaints have been made to H.M. of an illegal trade carried on between H.M. Plantations and the French Settlements in America on pretence that there is no law in force against such trade. H.M. has therefore commanded us to send you the following extract of the Treaty of Peace and Neutrality in America concluded between England and France the 6/16th day of Nov., 1686. Quote 5th and 6th Articles prohibiting the subjects of each Kingdom from trading and fishing in places possessed by the other in America, etc. Upon which we are commanded to signify to you that you take particular care for the future that the forementioned Treaty be observed and put in execution and that no illegal trade be carryed on between — under your Government and the French Settlements in America by any of H.M. ships of war attending —, or by other British ships; as likewise that none of the French subjects be allowed to trade from their said settlements to —. [C.O. 324, 10. pp. 113, 114.]
May 16.
572. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Lowther. Acknowledge letters of 20th May, 25th Oct. and 30th Dec., 1715, and 20th July, 1716. Continue:—The alteration of the state of affairs by the death of the late French King and the Alliance not long since concluded with that Crown, made it difficult for us to return you such answers as we design'd to what you have writ as to the interruption which the French have given to our commerce with the Spaniards; We hope for the future the trade of the West Indies, will revert to its own chanel, and that there may be no occasion for complaints of that nature, the French being prohibited trading to the Spanish Dominions in America. However we must desire you will continue to give us the best information or wt. further remarks you can make in relation to the Trade of those parts. We are in hopes the contagious distemper taken notice off in yr. first-mention'd letter is entirely ceased, since you speak no more of it. We have laid before H.M. what you write 25th Oct., relating to English subjects trading to Martinico in time of peace, whereupon H.M. has commanded us to signifie to you that tho' there be no law agt. such trade yet by the 5th and 6th Articles etc. as No. 571. We are sorry to hear of the liberty given the French during Mr. Sharpe's Governmt. to view the fortifications etc. of Barbadoes; we assure ourselves you will never shew such civilities either to the French or any other foreign nation, whereby in viewing the fortifications, or otherwise, they may be too particularly informed of the state of that Island. We cannot well take under consideration your proposal of a law to be pass'd here to restrain H.M. subjects in North America from exporting horses to any country not under H.M. Dominions; till you have explain'd how the French at Martinico, and Guardaloupe or Hispaniola etc. or the Dutch at Surinam are necessitated in grinding their sugar canes, to use horses and cattle; and whether those Colonies may not, if deprived of horses etc. erect windmills and make their sugar cheaper than even they do it at present. The Affrican Trade we hope will be on a better foot than heretofore, tho' the same is not yet settled and regulated by Act of Parliament. In the mean time we shall be glad to receive from you such information as you can give us of the state of yt. trade. You have done very well in prevailing with the Assembly to provide for the publick debts of that Island which we hope are now all satisfyed, and that for the future such sums will be annually rais'd as will answer the necessary service of the Govt. there without running in arrear. The Act is before us which you mention to have been passed in Barbadoes whereby a Committee of three of the Councill and 4 Members of the Genl. Assembly exclusive of the Govr. was empowred to receive and finally to determine all publick accots. If any inconvenience appears to you from that Act, we desire you will let us know it by the first opportunity, that upon consideration thereof we may report upon it as may be fit. We expect to hear the event of your endeavours which are very commendable to oblidge the Planters to keep a proportionate number of tenants to the acres of land they possess. It is with great pleasure we understand from you that the spirit of contention and faction that raged in Barbadoes for many years is entirely assuaged, and from yr. prudence and good conduct in the Govermt. of that Island we promise ourselves the continuance of union, and harmony among H.M. subjects there and a chearfull concurrence in whatsoever may be for H.M. service and their own interest which we must look upon as inseparable to which we must add that your vigilance cannot be too great over such persons in your Governmt. as give just reason to suspect their affection to H.M. and our present happy establishment. And we desire you from time to time, to give us such further lights in this matter as shall come to yr. knowledge. We hope the new regulation settled for repairing and keeping up the fortifications in good order, prove answerable to expectation of which we shall be glad to hear. [C.O. 29, 13. pp. 376–382.]
May 17.
573. Committee of Correspondence in Barbados to the Agents of Barbados. We have been extremely alarm'd by one Parson Gordon's attempting to erect an Ecclesiastical Court here, but should have been much more so, if our Governor had not put some check to it; and understanding that this altogether proceeded from the authority of the Bishop of London, and that his Lordship hath not only forbid our Governor not to obstruct Mr. Gordon, but hath also used several threats to intimidate him, (as that he is one of H.M. Privy Councill, and one of our Lords of Trade), etc. we desire you to communicate with the Secretarys of State etc. and prevent us from falling under so great a calamity, etc. Signed, John Frere, Tho. Maxwell, Guy Ball, Edmund Sutton, W. Leslie. Endorsed, Recd. Read 18th Sept., 1717. 1¾ pp. Enclosed,
573. i. Copy of the Bishop of London's Commission to Mr. Gordon as his Commissary in Barbados. Endorsed as preceding. Latin. 1½ pp.
573. ii. Governor Lowther to the Bishop of London. Barbadoes. April 26, 1717. By your letter of 14th Feb. etc. I perceive that your Lordship is highly disgusted that Messrs. Acourt and Dominick Langton are neither of them yet collated to any benefice in this Island according to your earnest and repeated recommendations to me, etc. As I did and do still presume that your Lordship always was and is so intirely well affected to the King and the Protestant succession that you would not knowingly preferr or recommend a person to any office in Church or State who had given any just cause for suspecting his fidelity to the King etc., and as I was morally persuaded that your Lordspp. hath been long since convinced that no party have shown so palpable, so groundless and so general dissatisfaction and malice to H.M. and the protestant succession as that wch. goes under the denomination of Tory, I concluded that as these gentlemen were monstrous Toryes I should not have incurr'd your indignation by disobeying commands that only related to their benefitt etc. Mr. Acourt resided here in my former Government, and behaved himself in such an extravagant, turbulent and seditious manner both in and out of the pulpitt that I thought him mad tho' some people applauded him etc. He is now so frantick and superstitiously heterodox that he is only fitt to officiate in the Pretender's Chappell. Refers to Dominick Langton (v. Sept. 4th), etc. I come now to answer that part of your Lordspp's. letter which relates to Mr. Gordon, "That you do not any way obstruct Mr. Gordon in the execution of the office of my Commissary to wch. he is appointed wth. such restrained powers as your Instructions require and is not a new officer but succeeds in the room of Mr. Beresford decd." I cannot but suppose from this clause that Mr. Gordon hath informed your Lordspp. (according to my desire) of the answer I gave him, when he produced your Lordspp. Commission to him for my allowance, when I told him that I was very ready to shew all the regard to your Ecclesiasticall jurisdiction that became me, but as that Commission was very extensive and being altogether ignorant of the particular powers and authorities the King had granted you, I could not allow of it in forme, till I had seen the sd. grant, and therefore advised him to desire your Lordspp. to send hither the originall or an exemplification thereof to enable me to judge of the legality of your Lordspp's. Commission to him. How can this be called a resisting or discountenancing your Lordspp's. Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction. Either your Lordspp. hath a legall power from the King to grant such a Commission or you have not, etc. As to its being no new office, the late Bishop of London was the first Bishop who had power to exercise any Ecclesiasticall authority in this Colony; he never delegated any Ecclesiasticall power either to Mr. Beresford or any other of the Clergy except Walker and Cryer. My Instructions are the same in this point as they were then and that neither the Bpp. nor these gentlemen ever offered to erect an Ecclesiasticall Court here, or ever pretended to have power to do it. Urges objections to an Ecclesiastical Court similar to those given Sept. 4, q.v. As I don't desire to intrude upon your Lordspp's. legall jurisdiction, so I hope you won't disturbe the repose of my Governmt. to gratify the malignity of expiring faction nor insist upon the peremptory injunction "That you do not any way obstruct Mr. Gordon" etc. This is more than I can now promise. You could not have pitched upon a more insidious restless meddling and ambitious person, a worse liver, a more flagrant incendary, or one who has given greater marks of disaffection to our happy establishment, two thirds of his time is spent in gaming, trading caballing and mischeif making; he came to this Island a contracted servt. etc. He gott into holy orders, and to be parson of St. James' parish and then of St. Georges, where for many months together he never performed any pastoral duty whatsoever, but went so frequently to the Leeward Islands that the Antigonians call him the wandering Apostle and the French (at Martinique) Le merchand spiritual, notwithstanding all wch. his profligate patrons Messrs. Will. Sharpe and Will. Walker preferred him to a benefice of £600 a year, etc. The sermon he preached on the Day of Thanksgiving wch. I appointed to be observ'd here for the happy suppression of the late unnatural rebellion was nothing but a virulent satyr against the King's best subjects, etc. Signed, Robert Lowther. Copy. 3¼ pp. [C.O. 28, 15. Nos. 14, 14 i., ii.; and (duplicate of covering letter, endorsed Recd. Read 3rd Oct., 1717) No. 17.]
May 20.574. Mr. Sollicitor General to Mr. Popple. I have perused the Act of Bermuda (v. May 15) for the sale of some lands in Smith's Tribe part of the estate of Richard Jenning's Gent. and I find that he is tenant in taile of the lands with remainder to his brother John Jennings in taile and that he is married and has issue and that his circumstances are such that unless the part of this estate be sold he and his family are likely to be undone. I presume the Assembly were satisfied of the truth of the premisses, as the inducement for passing the Act otherwise they would not have consented to barr the wife of her dower and the issue and the brother in remainder which is the consequence of this Act. I think this Act the more reasonable in regard that a man having such an estate to him and the heires of his body and having issue might (before the statute of entailes) have sold the estate as he pleased so as to barr his issue and all remainders (though not his wife of her dower unless she levyed a fine) and now in England by fines and recoveries he has still the power to barr the issue and remainders and since there are no fines or recoveries used in Bermuda I humbly conceive it fitt that such a power of barring the wife of her dower the issue and the remainders of their estates upon such emergencies for the good of a family should be exercised by the Assembly who may inform themselves of the truth suggested as the foundation for the Act by the examination of all parties. Sr., you are pleased to say that my opinion was desired in point of Law. I presume thereby was meant how the Law stood with regard to the title of Richard Jennings and what effect in Law this Act would have as to the others interested in the estate after him and as to the fittness of approving such an Act. If anything more was meant, etc., their Lopps. commands shall be obeyed. Signed, Wm. Thomson. Endorsed, Recd. 21st, Read 23rd May, 1717. Addressed. 1 p. Enclosed,
574. i. Copy of Act of Bermuda to vest certain lands in Smith's Tribe in trustees to be sold for payment of the debts of Richard Jennings, etc. Oct. 14, 1713. 5½ pp. [C.O. 37, 10. Nos. 2, 2 i.]
May 20.
575. Mr. Popple to Mr. Attorney Genl. The Council of Trade and Plantations understanding that you have been indispos'd desire the three Virginia Laws (10th May) to be transmitted to Mr. Sollr. Genl. etc. [C.O. 5, 1364. p. 446.]
May 22.
576. Mr. Popple to Mr. Dummer. The Council of Trade and Plantations having under consideration the settling of some disbanded officers and soldiers between Nova Scotia and New England, desire to know whether you have anything to offer for or against it on the behalf of the Massachusets Bay, and that you would let their Lordps. see what powers and instructions you have in that case. I have only to add that this be done as soon as possible. [C.O. 5, 915. p. 39.]
[May 22.]577. Thomas Coram, the Marquis de Wignacourt and others to the Council of Trade and Plantations. A plan for settling wast lands and islands between Nova Scotia and Maine. H.M. to erect the said lands into a Province by the name and title of the Royall Province of Georgeia, and to grant the same to thirty or more good men in trust, with full power for settling it. 1200 families are now ready to go over as soon as the patent shall be granted. 100 acres to be granted to every settler, paying a quit rent of 28 lb. of hemp fit for H.M. Navy, after the first 7 years etc. As the principall intent is to supply H.M. with Navall Stores, H.M. is desired to put the Province under the Govermt. of the First Commissioner of the Admiralty, who shall nominate one of the patentees his Lt. Governor, who with the Court of Patentees or Councill shall be deemed as the Upper House of the General Assembly, the Lower House to consist of freeholders annually chosen by freeholders and other inhabitants. The Lt. Governor and other Patentees or Councillors to elect Councillors to fill vacancies. The fishery and mines to be wholly free. Foreigners being Protestants, who shall settle there and take the oaths to H.M. to enjoy the same libertys and immunities within the said Province as any of H.M. subjects, etc. The Letters Patents to be void, unless the Province is settled and put into a proper posture of defence. Signed, Thomas Coram, Le marquis de Wignacourt, Wm. West, Wm. Mayer, Pr. Longueville and four others. Endorsed, Recd. Read 22nd May, 1717. 3 pp. [C.O. 217, 2. No. 24.]
May 23.
578. Mr. Popple to Archibald Cumings. The subject of your letter, 2nd March, is under the consideration of the Council of Trade and Plantations. The continuance of the like accounts of the imports and exports with your further remarks thereupon, as likewise any other matters that may occur to you for H.M. service will be always very acceptable to them. [C.O. 5, 915. p. 40.]
May 23.
579. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Shute. Acknowledge letter etc. of 27th Feb. Continue: We are glad you found all things quiet in your Government, and the Indians so well disposed to cultivate a good friendship with H.M. subjects in those parts, which you will do well to encourage. At present, we have only to remind you of transmitting as soon as may be the several accounts of publick proceedings and other matters required to be sent us by your Instructions; and as we understand there are several goods of the growth or product of foreign Plantations imported into your Governments, we must desire you to send us exact accounts for three years past of all imports and exports of foreign and other goods into and out of the Provinces of the Massachusets Bay and New Hampshire, distinguishing each year, as likewise from and to what places each commodity is brought and carryed; and to transmit the like accounts annually or oftner for the future. [C.O. 5, 915. pp. 40, 41.]
May 23.580. Ambrose Philips to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses Governor Hunter's complaints against Cox, etc. Signed, A. Philips. Endorsed, Recd. 23rd May, 1717, Read 11th Feb., 1717/18. 2 pp. Enclosed,
580. i. Rev. John Talbot to Governor Hunter. Duplicate of No. 585 vii.
580. ii. George Willocks to Governor Hunter. Amboy, April 3, 1717. I perceive Mr. Talbot is scrupulous to discover the names of those that were concern'd in the wicked design, etc. Signed, Geo. Willocks. Copy. 1 p. Printed, N.J. Arch. IV. 290. [C.O. 5, 971. Nos. 70, 70 i.; and (without enclosures) 5, 995. p. 434.]
May 23.
581. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Recommend for H.M. confirmation Act of Bermuda for vesting certain lands in Smith's Tribe in trustees etc. [C.O. 38, 7. pp. 331, 332.]
[May 24.]582. A list of persons proposed to be patentees in trust for the settlement between Nova Scotia and Maine (v. May 22). 50 names including Earl of Berkley, First Commissioner of the Admiralty, Sir James Bateman, Lord Mayor, Samuel Shepherd, Micajah Perry, Thomas Coram, James Wignancourt Marquis de Franconville, Jonathan Belcher and William Browne of Boston, and George Vaughan of Pyscataqua. Endorsed, Recd. Read 24th May, 1717. 1 p. [C.O. 217, 2. No. 26.]
[May 24.]583. Petition of Jeremy Dummer, Agent for the Massachusets Bay to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The Governor Council and Assembly of the said Province having heard that divers persons have of late bin making application to the Crown for the obtaining a grant of the land lying between St. Croix and Kennebeck Rivers, represent that near a third part of the said land, viz. the tract lying between Penobscot and Kennebeck was more than 60 years since purchas'd bona fide of the Indian natives by numbers of English people with the consent of the King's Governours and governments from time to time and confirm'd by grant from the Council of Plymouth, which are ready to be produc't. That persuant to such fair and loyal purchases and confirmations the purchasers and their respective agents did with great expence make several flourishing settlements, which were at last broke up and utterly ruin'd by the French in the late war. Prays that if any grants be made of lands in the Eastern parts of New England, there may be an express saving of the tract between the Rivers of Penobscot and Kennebeck to the proprietours. Signed, Jer. Dummer. Endorsed, Recd. Read 24th May, 1717. 1 p. [C.O. 217, 2. No. 27.]
May 24.
584. Mr. Popple to Jer. Dummer. The Council of Trade and Plantations desire you to produce the grants from the Council of Plimouth referred to in preceding. [C.O. 218, 1. pp. 322, 323.]
May 24.
N. York.
585. Governor Hunter to Mr. Popple. Abstract. Encloses following and repeats parts of previous letters. Is just sailing for the Jerseys, to communicate to the Council Mr. Cox's complaint (v. 27th May). Believes the Council, Assembly and all the freeholders, with very few exceptions, will give it the lie in every particular. Thinks Cox's object can only be to keep up an agitation and procure a subsistance for himself from subscriptions, as Sonmans did for a long time, "till his subscribers smoakt him, and left him in the lurch." Asks him to remind the Board how Cox and his party, proud of the name of Lord Cornbury's party, send home 19 articles of complaint against Lord Lovelace, before he had been so many weeks in his Government, and how they served him in the same manner and were dismissed from the Council etc. Desires him to ask Mr. Bampfield to solicit the enclosed clause of Act of New Jersey (encl. vi.) for paying him the sum therein directed "to answer the protested Expedition bills which hang over his head even in that Province" etc. Printed, N.J. Arch. 1st Ser. II. 297. Signed, Ro. Hunter. Endorsed, Recd. 8th July, Read 27th Nov., 1717. 7½ pp. Enclosed,
585. i. Duplicate of No. 471 v.
585. ii. Duplicate of No. 471 iv.
585. iii. Address of the House of Representatives of New Jersey to Governor Hunter, with H.E.'s Reply, Nov. 27, 1716. "The speediness and unanimity of our resolves, we hope, will induce your Excellency to believe that this House is fully designed to make good their former Addresses," etc. Printed. 2 pp.
585. iv. Duplicate of No. 192 iii.
585. v. Deposition of George Willocks, Perth Amboy, May 21st, 1717. In Sept. last etc. ye Revd. John Talbot asked deponent to express his regrets to the Governor and endeavour a reconciliation etc. In Jan. at Philadelphia, he informed deponent that the Government lay under an obligation to him, if he had prevented the destruction of houses and a great deal of mischief that would otherwise have happened. In April, he told deponent that at the time of election of Representatives at Burlington, a man came to him and said they would pull down the Quakers' meeting house and dwelling houses or burn them, from which resolution he diswaded them. An old Foot (as he called him) asked him at another time if they should not break all ye Quakers' glass windows for not putting out of lights; and there was an agreement amongst them if he had been imprisoned to have pulled down the gaol, which he told them he would prevent by leaving ye province, etc. Signed, Geo. Willocks. Endorsed as covering letter. Copy. 3 pp.
585. vi. Copy of clause in Act of New Jersey for raising £2000. Same endorsement. 1 p.
585. vii. Revd. John Talbot to Governor Hunter. Amboy, Ap. 3. I can prove what I have said (v. No. v.), that I have done no harm but prevented a great deal etc. I am for peace with all men especially Governors, etc. I will wait on your Excellency at New York etc. Signed, John Talbot. Endorsed as preceding. 1 p. Printed, N.J. Arch. 1st Ser. IV. 291. [C.O. 5, 971. Nos. 31, 31 i.–vii.; and (without enclosures) 5, 995. pp. 387–395.]
May 25.
St. James's.
586. Copy of H.M. Commission to John Doucet to be Lt. Governor of the Garrison of Annapolis Royal. Countersigned, J. Addison. Endorsed, Recd. 7th, Read 10th March, 1717/18. ¾ p. [C.O. 217, 2. No. 39; and 324, 33. p. 79.]
May 27.
587. Mr. Secretary Addison to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses following for their "report to H.M. what expedient you shall think proper for suppressing the pirates in those parts." Signed, J. Addison. Endorsed, Recd. 28th, Read 30th May, 1717. 1 p. Enclosed,
587. i. Petition of merchants and masters of ships of Bristol to the King. For several months past divers ships belonging to us as also to others of your Majesties subjects, have been attacked, rifled and plundered, and their crews very barbarously used by pirates; upon the open seas in the West Indies, and particularly near Jamaica etc. The said pirates are still cruising in those seas, and daily commit the like piracies and barbarities, insomuch that the trade to those parts is become extreamly dangerous and precarious and if not speedily protected may be impracticable. Pray H.M. to appoint means for suppressing them, and protecting the Trade, etc. Copy. 1⅓ pp. [C.O. 323, 7. Nos. 89, 90; and 324, 10. pp. 115, 116.]
May 27.
N. York.
588. Governor Hunter to Mr. Popple. Abstract. Encloses following. Cox is looked upon as besides himself etc. I am all and intirely yours. Signed, Ro. Hunter. Endorsed, Recd. 1st July, Read 27th Nov., 1717. Holograph. 2 pp. Printed, N.J. Arch. 1st Ser. II., 305. Enclosed,
588. i. (a) Petition of several Traders, Inhabitants and Proprietors of New Jersey to the King. (1) Governor Hunter has acted very illegally, unwarrantable and unjustly etc. (2) He has delayed Justice and (3) dispensed with the laws. (4) He turned out the Sheriff of Middlesex and Somerset and most of the Judges and Justices of the Peace throughout the Province, and put in some not resideing within the Province, and others not fit. (5) He permitted persons to sit in the Council and Assembly without qualifying themselves. (6) He invaded the property of your Majesty's subjects by causing their timber to be felled upon their estates, and by burning and destroying the deeds and titles to their lands. (7) He passed all the laws enacted by the Assembly in a style directly contrary to his Instructions, altho otherwise advised by Her late Majesty's Council. He permitted very great sums of money to be issued and disposed of contrary to his Instructions. (8) He hath not caused books of accounts to be duly kept and transmitted, etc. (9) He hath passed several Acts of Assembly in both Provinces directly repugnant to the laws of England. (10) He hath erected new Courts of Judicature, whereby the inhabitants have been much injured. (11) He hath illegally order'd restitution of the goods of several persons, which were regularly distrained. (12) He hath stopped prosecutions of his own head without adviseing with the Council, tho those prosecutions were expressly directed by the Council (nemine contradicente) before his arrival against persons who upon examination appear'd guilty of gross crimes. (13) He hath illegally granted diverse patents and charters for townships, whereby diverse persons have been divested of their property without being heard, notwithstanding caveats have been enter'd, which charters never pass'd any office in the Province. (14) He hath in the writ for summoning two Representatives to serve in General Assembly for Burlington directed the qualifications of the Electors to be repugnant to what his instructions require. (15) He summoned two Assemblys in a short time without permitting either to meet. (16) He hath by frequent and short prorogations obliged several of the Representatives to travell many hundred of miles, without so much as ever meeting, etc. (17) He hath not only dispenced with but endeavoured intirely to destroy an Act that has received the Royal Sanction etc. (18) He hath presumed in an illegal manner to grant warrants for apprehending and forcing several of the Members of the Assembly to come to Perth Amboy, and when there by threats and commands he oblig'd them to continue in the said town several days, tho the Assembly not sitting, etc. (19) He hath fomented the divisions and animosities among the inhabitants by publishing and dispersing papers in print, which contain positions contrary to the laws of Great Britain, and the right and liberty of the subjects. (20) He hath neglected to keep the Militia under discipline necessary for defence against the barbarous and treacherous heathen enemy, etc. Pray to be heard to this charge, and to have recourse to papers and persons necessary to substantiate it, etc. Signed, Jacob Heulings, Richard Kirby, Will Spenser, Joseph Piron, Alex. Lockhart, Abram. Browne, Rich. Allison, Joseph Dennis, John Starcke, Danl. Leeds, Thos. Fox, Jonan. Lovett, Willm. Cuttler, George Willis, Thos. Shreave, Willm. Dowes, Step. Harris, John Garrett, Willm. Dean, Rt. Ball, Jacob Clements, Benjn. Kirby, Samuel Wright, Thos. Dowse, Nichs. Browne, Mich. Newbound, Arthur Cleayton, Thos. Mackinsey, Thos. Wright, Willm. Kirby, Charles Millard, John Bulark, Elisha Lawrence, Zebulon Cleayton, Richd., Robt., Jos., John, and Benjn. Lawrence, John Wright, John Marshal, Wm. Fox, Thos. Bransart, Wm. Clowes, John Bowne, John Ineth, John Rudveres, Nichs. Gateau, Danl. Robins, Will. Evillman, John Hammell.
(b) The above persons are for the most part the lowest and meanest of the people, who have been influenced by Mr. Daniel Cox, to whom we chiefly owe those disturbances that have unhappily distracted this Province. We find most part of the Articles of complaint false in fact, and such of them as have any colour of truth, are what we humbly conceive your Excellency might and ought to have done for preserving of the public peace. At a Council held at Perth Amboy, 25th May, 1717. Signed, Lewis Morris, Thomas Gordon, John Anderson, John Hamilton, T. Byerley, David Lyell. The whole, 5 pp. [C.O. 5, 971. Nos. 30, 30 i.; and 5, 995. pp. 379–387.]
May 30.
589. Address of the Ministers of Christ in New England at their annual convention in Boston to the King. We presume once more to lay our selves with our congratulations at your Majesty's feet; esteeming ourselves to be under the highest obligations, to render unto your Majesty all possible assurances of a most inviolable loyalty etc. etc. Express detestation of the late new hellish plot etc. and return thanks to the God of Heaven who has once more brought their wicket devices to light etc. Your Majesty has been graciously pleased to express your paternal wisdom and goodness to your good subjects here, in appointing the excellent Colonel Shute to be our Governor; whose conspicuous virtue, probity and justice, his proud fidelity to your Majesty, and zeal for the Protestant Succession gives us a prospect of much happiness under his administration. Moreover we also hold ourselves obliged greatly to acknowledge your Majesty's goodness and justice to our brethren the Protestant Dissenters in Great Britain, of whose loyalty and zeal your Majesty is pleased to say that you are fully convinced. Go on, Mighty Prince, under a Divine guard and influence, to reign in the hearts of all that love the interests of justice and piety, the Protestant religion, and the libertys of Britain, and be still unto such as the light of the Morning and as the breath of our nostrills. Signed, Cotton Mather, Moderator. 2½ pp. [C.O. 5, 752. No. 13.]
May 30.
590. Lt. Governor Spotswood to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Abstract. Being well assured that during my administration the expence of this Government has been managed with the utmost frugality; I may the more boldly represent the present deficiency of that branch of the Revenue which is appropriated for its support: And with the more hopes of success renew my sollicitations for yr. Lordps. good offices towards obtaining a farther supply out of the quitt rents to make good that deficiency, since I can easily demonstrate (if it were required) that the considerable increase of that Revenue is owing to the scheme I have put in practice for the collection thereof. Refers to enclosed accounts. Hopes by yor. Lordps. favourable interposition, H.M. will be graciously pleased to clear off the debt on the 2s. a hogshead by ordering so much of the ballance of the quitt rents to be transferred for that purpose; as has been heretofore done twice by His Royal predecessors, when the short crops of tobacco have occasioned the deficiency of that Revenue, as has in some measure been our case for a great many years past: but tho' this has by degrees lessened that fund, the extraordinary expence we have been at for the relieff of our neighbours of Carolina, and some other unusual events, is that which has encreas'd this debt; and which H.M. has been pleased to take notice of, as the motive for His last Royal donation. It has also been intimated that had there been then a greater ballance remaining of the quitt rents, it would have been granted: and I should have sooner applyed for it, could I have prevailed with the late Officers of the Revenue to have perfected the quitt rent accompt for 1715 etc. But the renewing any complaints of the backwardness of those Officers, may be disagreeable to yor. Lordps., now that they are both removed, etc. The good disposition yor. Lordps. have show'd towards us, in yr. late Representation on the like occasion, makes it unnecessary for me to use any further arguments etc. Signed, A Spotswood. Endorsed, Recd. 22nd July, Read 8th Aug., 1717. 1¾ pp. Printed, Spots. Papers, II. 247. Enclosed,
590. i. Account of H.M. Revenue of 2s. pr. hhd. in Virginia, 25th Oct., 1716–25th April, 1717. Receipts, £612 18s. 6d. Expenditure, £2586 8s. 10¼d. Signed, James Roscow, Recr. Genl., John Grymes, Deputy Auditr., A. Spotswood. Same endorsement. 3 pp.
590. ii. Account of H.M. Revenue of quit rents in Virginia, 25th April, 1716–1717. Receipts, £5546 16s. 3¼d. Expenditure, £1780 14s. 11¼d. Signed and endorsed as preceding. 1¾ pp. [C.O. 5, 1318. Nos. 17, 17 i., ii.; and (without enclosures) 5, 1364. pp. 489–491; and 5, 1342. Nos. 5, 5 i., ii.]
May 30.591. Sir Bibye Lake, Bart., only grandchild, and Anne, wife of Increase Mather, D.D., onley daughter and heires of Captain Thomas Lake decd. and Edward Hutchinson and Josiah Walcott heires of Major Thomas Clarke decd., to the Council of Trade and Plantations. In 1639 and 1654 Capt. Lake and Major Clarke did for good and valueable considns. of the Indian Sachem and other Indians and English purchase severall lands etc. on or near Kennebeck River, and with great labour and above £10,000 expence make settlements thereon untill dispossessed by a warr with the Indians in 1675 etc. The Indians killed Capt. Lake in the defence of his own settlements. Capt. Lake's widow and Major Clarke were at great expence in resettleing the prmes. untill the last Indian warr 1684, wherein the Indians prevailed and drove them and their familys from all their settlements and totally burnt and destroyed the same which they or their descendants were not able to recover by reason of the warr with the Indians. Upon the Peace, 1713, petitioners did apply themselves to clear the premises which was become a wilderness, and have expended several thousand pounds in building houses, mills, and fenceing and settleing a fishery etc. and have settled about 30 familys thereupon and are now in quiet possion. thereof. Petitioners are inform'd that a purchase of the natives and an occupation of the land has been always adjudged a good title in those parts and what most of the estates there are held by. Petitioners have a confirmation of all or the greatest part of their lands from the Crown. The petrs. for these lands have no other merit but an engagement to settle which petitioners have already began and are going on to perfect. Pray that there may be a saving for their lands in any grants that shall be made. Signed, Bibye Lake. Endorsed, Recd. Read 30th May, 1717. 1¼ pp. [C.O. 5, 866. No. 117; and 5, 915. pp. 43–46.]
May 30.
[ye 30th of ye 3d mo. call'd May, 1717.] London.
592. Richard Partridge to Mr. Popple. Understanding certain persons are endeavouring to obtain a grant of lands adjoining to New England, prays that an exception may be made of the lands which his father, Col. Wm. Partridge, has been lately soliciting a confirmation of etc. Signed, Rich. Partridge. Endorsed, Recd. Read 31st May, 1717. Addressed. ¾ p. [C.O. 5, 866. No. 118.]
May 30.593. Petition of Mr. Dummer to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Adds to his Memorial relating to lands between the Rivers of Kennebec and Penobscot, (v. No. 583) that, by the Charter of the Massachusets Bay, these lands are given to the Province with onely this limitation that their grants be afterwards confirm'd by the Crown. Petitioner therefore conceives that a good title cannot be made to these lands, without a grant first made by the General Assembly. Prays that his petition together with the Charter may be laid before H.M. Attorney General for his opinion. Signed, Jer. Dummer. Endorsed, Recd. Read 30th May, 1717. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 866. No. 120; and 5, 915. pp. 46, 47.]
[May 31.]
Clergies Street, Thursday.
594. Duchess of Hamilton to the Council of Trade and Plantations. As guardian of her son, the Duke, desires that there may be a saving for his 10,000 acres, in case a grant of lands near Zagadehoc be made, etc. Signed, E. Hamilton. Endorsed, Recd. Read 31st May, 1717. 1½ pp. [C.O. 5, 866. No. 119.]
May 31.
595. Lt. Governor Spotswood to the Council of Trade and Plantations. As no light consideration shal ever make me trouble yor. Lordps., I hope what I herewith transmitt will recieve the more attention, as it concerns the liberty, and probably the lives of many of H.M. subjects of this Colony. I need not take up yor. Lordps. time with any other narrative of the case than what is contain'd in the enclosed Representation etc. Refers to letter of 3rd July, relating to Beverley and the Instructions given him, which I then judged to be for H.M. service, and such as might have secured him from the violence he has since mett with, if those into whose hands he is fallen had any regard to Justice or the Law of Nations: for by the same rule that the Spaniards have taken this man and his vessell on the high seas without being near any of their Dominions, and without any hostility offered on his part, every vessell belonging to H.M. subjects may expect the like treatment: But as the care of these plantations is more particularly entrusted to yor. Lordps., I doubt not you will be pleased to interpose yor. good offices not only in behalf of these unfortunate men, but for the future security of the British commerce in America against the violence of the Spaniards, and the unwarrantable reprisals they pretend to make on H.M. subjects. It was in the same letter, of the 3rd July, that I communicated to your Lordps. the informations I then recieved of the resort of pyrates to the Bahama Islands, and the apprehensions I had of their increase on these coasts, if timely care was not taken to suppress them. Yor. Lordps. will percieve by the information I now send how just my fears were, and how much the trade of this Colony has already suffer'd. The number of pyrates is greatly increas'd since, and 'tis now no inconsiderable force that will serve to reduce them; if they once come to furnish themselves with ships of force, with which they cannot be long unprovided among those wch. use the trade of the West Indies and of this Country, and seems to be their principal aim on this coast. The Shoreham man of war appointed for this station is but just return'd from South Carolina, and is under orders to proceed to England, but is neither in a condition (without careening and repairing) to pursue that voyage or undertake any long cruise in pursuit of those pyrates: But that this ship might be as usefull as her condition will permitt, I have prevailed with the Captain to stay here till he is relieved, and to convoy the Trade of this and the neighbouring Province of Maryland from time to time, so far off the coast as may put them out of danger, and he now convoys the ships by which this is sent. This I hope will be judged a necessary service and such as will excuse the Captain's delaying the execution of his orders for his immediate return home, which would leave a great part of the Trade of these two Plantations at the mercy of the pyrates, and even give them an easy access into our bay and rivers to plunder the inhabits. I doubt not yor. Lordps. will use your interest that a sufficient force be speedily dispatch'd to these coasts for securing the Trade, and particularly to the Bahamas, to dislodge the pyrates from thence, where they have settled their generall rendevouze, and seem to look upon those Islands as their own: And it is high time some measures were taken to reduce them either by force or by an offer of pardon upon their submission; the first is that which will undoubtedly terrify others from falling into the like wicked courses, and it is to be questioned whether the latter would be accepted of by all of them. I shall add no further at present, reserving other affairs of less consequence to my next when I send the Journals etc. Signed, A. Spotswood. Endorsed, Recd. 31st July, Read 6th August, 1717. 2½ pp. Enclosed,
595. i. Information of Andrew Turbett, Master, and Robert Gilmor, supercargo of the Agnis of Glasgow, 17th April, 1717. The Agnis was taken and sunk by a pirate, Saml. Bellamy, five leagues off Cape Charles, 7th April. On the same day they took the Ann galley of Glasgow and the Endeavor pink of Brighthelmstone, and on the 12th a ship belonging to Lieth, all bound for Virginia. The greatest part of the pirates crew natives of Great Britain and Ireland (some names given), and 25 negroes taken out of a Guinea ship. They declared they intended to cruise for 10 days off Delaware Bay, and 10 days more off Long Island, in order to intercept some vessels from Philadelphia and New York, bound with provisions to the West Indies. They then designed to careen their ship at Green Island, to the Eastward of Cape Sable. They expect several others to follow them to the coast of Virginia, and said there were 10 sail of them in all about the West Indies and the coast of America. Signed, Andw. Turbett, Rob. Gilmor.
595. ii. Deposition of John Lucas, Master of the Tryal of Brighthelmstone, sworn before Governor Hart, Maryland, 13th April, 1717. On the 9th April, he was taken by pirates off the Capes of Virginia, and his ship plundered; but they, spying a ship coming out of the Cape, put him back on board and bad him follow them, but he ran into the Capes and so got away from them. The pirate was a sloop of New England built. The crew about 40, mostly English etc. Signed, John Lucas.
595. iii. Deposition of Joseph Jacob, mate of the Tryal (v. preceding). Nos. i.–iii. Copies. The whole endorsed as letter. 4 pp.
595. iv. Representation of the Lt. Gov. and Council of Virginia to the Council of Trade and Plantations. As we conceive it our duty to your Lordships to represent wtever injurys are done to H.M. subjects here, we beg leave to lay before your Lordps. the case of divers of the inhabitants of this Colony lately taken by the Spaniards and detained prisoners, in violation of the Treaty of Peace between H.M. and the Crown of Spain. In the beginning of last summer, one Harry Beverley, an inhabitant of this Colony, being owner of a sloop then launch'd called the Virgin of Virginia and design'd for the West India Trade, hearing from severall masters of vessells belonging to Bermuda, of considerable quantitys of plate fish'd up by the people of that Island from wrecks lately discovered upon the Bahama shoals, within the Dominions of H.M.; and being likewise told that the Spaniards gave great rewards to such vessells belonging to the British subjects, as entered into their service, and assisted in recovering the treasure lost in the Spanish wrecks on the coast of Florida, thought he could not better imploy his said vessell and his own time, than either in offering his service to assist the Spaniards in fishing on their wrecks, or searching himself for the wrecks said to be in the seas of the British Dominions: and if either of these projects should fail, he might then proceed to the West Indies with the cargo of provisions which he had then ready to put on board. While he was preparing for this voyage some of the inhabitants of the Island of Providence arrived here, judging it unsafe for them to continue longer in a place which was then become a rendevouze for pirates; These gave such an account of the increase of the pirates about that Island, that Beverley did not think it proper to prosecute his intended voyage, without taking with him a sufficient force for his defence. Hereupon Beverley made application to the Government for the liberty of equipping his vessell with 40 or 50 men, with arms for his own defence offering to give bond for his honest and peaceable deportment. The character of the person being well known, as a man of good reputation and creditt, and his circumstances no ways desperate or necessitous, engaged us the more willingly to yield to his request, to which we were more particularly induced, in hopes by his means to gain such an exact information of the strength and proceedings of the pyrates in those parts as might be of service to H.M.; and especially considering that by a Commission under the Great Seal of England, the appointing the Judges and Officers of the Court of Admiralty for the Bahama Islands, had been particularly entrusted to the Governour of Virginia, an enquiry into the state of those Islands might reasonably be expected from him etc. Accordingly Instructions were given to Beverley, both with respect to his behaviour towards the Spaniards and other nations in amity, as in relation to the gaining a true account of the number, condition and design of the pyrates in those parts, a copy of which Instructions was soon after transmitted to your Lords.' Board, and to the Lords Commissrs. of the Admiralty. On 23rd June Beverley departed from Virginia since wch, there is advice from him by letters dated at St. Domingo on Hispaniola the 14th Aug., that two days after he left the Capes of Virginia he mett with a strong wind at South West, which carry'd him into the latitude of 28d. 40m. and longitude of 6 degrees from the said Capes, where on 5th July he found himself close by a ship and a sloop, which proved to be a Spanish man of war called the St. Juan Baptista, commanded by Don Joseph Rocher de la Pena, and the sloop his tender. The man of war fired three shots at Beverley's sloop (which had the English colours flying on board) and then ordered him to come on board, where (without ever looking into his papers or so much as asking for them) only demanding from whence he came, he was made prisoner and his boats crew confined apart. The men of the Spanish ship immediately went on board his sloop, beat and stript all the men broke open their chests, plundered and carry'd off all the cargo, and brought the men prisoners on board the man of war, where they were forced naked as they were to work as the Spaniards ordered them, except Beverley himself, and Mr. Peter Whiting and George Heeble his officers. On the 30th they arrived at Porto Rico, where the Spaniards sold most of the goods belonging to Beverley's sloop, and then on 11th May, they came to St. Domingo. At both which places Beverley conscious of his honest intentions, desired a trial but was denyed, untill they should arrive at La Vera Crux, whither the Spanish Commander declared he intended to carry his prisoners. It appears also by the letters from Beverley that he had sent divers letters to the Governour of St. Domingo, setting forth his case, and praying for a tryal, but no answer was returned, neither was Beverley or any of his men suffered to go on shoar or permitted to speak to anyone at either of these places, and since 14th Aug. Beverley nor any of his men have been heard of. Upon which we beg yor. Lordships' consideration of these following circumstances. (i.) That there is not the least suspicion of his going upon any piratical design, or that he had any intention of injuring the Spaniards or the subjects of any other Nation whatsoever, he having just before his departure from hence given a sufficient testimony of his abhorrence of such wicked practices, by discovering to this Government and causing to be apprehended one Josiah Forbes, a person, who by his own confession had committed acts of piracy against the Spaniards on the coast of Florida, for wch. he was here committed to prison, but afterwards broke prison and escaped. (ii.) That there are very few of the men he carry'd with him who are not settled inhabts. of this Colony, and have familys here, and therefore cannot be supposed to have the least intention to do anything in that voyage, which might prevent their return, or endanger the ruine of their familys and estates they left behind them. (iii.) The Instructions and credentials which Beverley carryed with him might have satisfyed the Spanish Captain (had he thought fitt to look into them) that part of the business of Beverley was for H.M. service, and wherein the safety of the Spanish as well as British subjects in America was concerned. (iv.) The said sloop was taken upon the high seas near the Island of Bermuda, and had never been within some hundreds of leagues of any of the Spanish Dominions. (v.) Neither the said Master nor his crew had ever committed any acts of piracy upon any Nation whatsoever, nor so much as made the least resistance when attack'd in an hostile manner by the said Spanish man of war. Your Lordps. will also be pleased to consider, on how precarious a footing, all the Trade of the British subjects to the Plantations must be, if they are thus to ly at the mercy of the Spaniards, liable to be seized whenever these have a superior force to overpower them, their persons insulted and imprisoned, and their vessells and effects confiscated and sold without any legal tryal, or so much as knowing for what reason they are thus treated. We therefore humbly pray yor. Lordps. in compassion to the deplorable condition of these inhabitants of this Colony, now languishing in prison or (which may be worse) sent to work in the Spanish mines, to represent their case to his most sacred Majesty, that such measures may be taken as H.M. in his great wisdom and princely care for all his subjects shall think fitt for the liberty of these unfortunate men, and for obtaining a due reparation for the loss of their sloop and cargo, agreeable to the Treatys of Peace between the Crowns of Great Britain and Spain, and the good faith which ought to be observed between the two nations. Signed, A. Spotswood, E. Jenings, Robert Carter, James Blair, Phil. Ludwell, John Smith, John Lewis, Wm. Bassett, Nath. Harrison, Mann Page, E. Berkeley. Same endorsement. 5 pp. [C.O. 5, 1318. Nos. 16, 16 i.–iv.; and (without enclosures) 5, 1364. pp. 483–487; and 5, 1342. Nos. 4 i.–v.]
May 31.
596. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Addison. Reply to May 27. We have discoursed with most of the considerable merchants and others concerned in H.M. Plantations in America, whose latest advices from those parts all agree, that the pirates there are grown so numerous, that they infest not only the seas near Jamaica, but even those of the northern Continent, and that unless some effectual and immediate protection be sent, the whole trade from Great Britain to those parts will not only be obstructed, but in imminent danger of being lost. The Gentlemen, who attended us on this occasion, were unanimous that at least one fourth rate or two fifth rate men of war, were absolutely necessary to suppress those pirates and protect the Trade. They further proposed that H.M. be graciously pleased to pardon the said pirates provided they come in and surrender by a certain time to be limited. They took notice to us, that the pirates had made a lodgement at Harbour Island, one of the Bahamas, where they raised a battery and kept a guard of 50 men; and that their usual retreat was at Providence the principal of those Islands, and the general receptacle for pirates at all times. As to the method proposed for the present suppressing of these pirates, we humbly conceive that a sufficient force should be immediately sent from hence; and as some of the said pirates are of considerable strength, we conceive it will require, that of the ships which shall be sent, one of them be a fourth rate. And should H.M. be graciously pleased to pardon them, which we hope would be a ready means to reclaim them, we humbly submit it, whether this may be more properly done by H.M. impowering the Commander in Chief of Jamaica and other Governors in America to issue a Proclamation there for that purpose, or by sending such a Proclamation from hence by the Commanders of H.M. ships imployed in this service. As to the consequence the Bahama Islands are of to this Kingdom refer to Representations of 14th Dec., 1715, and 24th March, 1715/16. We must add that unless the said Islands be settled and effectually secured by a fortification on the Island of Providence, it will be impracticable to prevent pirates infesting those seas and retiring thither with their booty and for shelter. [C.O. 324, 10. pp. 117–120.]