America and West Indies
December 1717

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Institute of Historical Research

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Cecil Headlam (editor)

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1930

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117-141

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'America and West Indies: December 1717', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 30: 1717-1718 (1930), pp. 117-141. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=74032 Date accessed: 21 August 2014.


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December 1717

[Dec. 2.]235. Account of moneys paid by Governor Hunter for sustenance etc. of the Palatines. Spent, £32,071 13s. 10d. Received from Treasury £10,000, and for goods sold, £800. Balance due, £21,271 13s. 10d. Endorsed, Recd. (from Mr. Philips 2nd Dec., 1717, Read 25th Feb., 1717/18. 2 pp. Torn. [C.O. 1051. No. 55.]
Dec. 3.
N. York.
236. Governor Hunter to Mr. Popple. Abstract. I send the Quarterly accounts of the export and import, by which their Losps. will observe how vastly increas'd the Navigation and Trade of this place is of late which in a great measure is owing to the currency of bills of credit upon so good and solid fond as that of the Excise our bills being ev'n on the Exchange of Boston 25 pr. cent. better then their own. I mention this because the bill for payt. of the remainder of publick debts past the house of Representatives and now depending before the Council, meets with some opposition or threatned opposition from men of private views piques and intrests, the true cause of which whatsoever the pretended one be is that this as the former one did incourages and enables the many to venture their stocks in trade to the prejudice of the few who had so long monopoliz'd it etc. Continues:—If the bill does passe, for I as yet know not its fate, I shall be able to convince their Losps. of the reasonableness and justice of it, it being really no other then an Act extending the former to such persons and claimants as were by that bill precluded their just demands by absence nonage neglect or the prevailing humor in that Assembly, making provision for publick charges not before provided for, (as particularly the Agency, incidents of Govt. etc.) and in effect for quieting the minds of all H.M. subjects on this side. Requests his good offices in prosecuting his claim in Parliament, and promises that he will not be content with a bare acknowledgment of his indebtedness to him. Signed, Ro. Hunter. Endorsed, Recd. 7th, Read 27th Jan., 1717/18. 3½ pp. Set out, N.Y. Col. Docs. V. 494. [C.O. 5, 1051. No. 44; and 5, 1123. pp. 494–496.]
Dec. 3.
Whitehall.
237. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Earl of Sunderland. We are informed, that on the last Council day, upon reading a representation from our Board, 16th Oct., upon certain laws, passed in the Leeward Islands, wherein we set forth, that we had consulted H.M. Attorney and Sollicitor General concerning those laws, Mr. Attorney and Mr. Solicitor were pleased to acquaint the Council, that they had never given any opinion, concerning the said laws; Whereupon the consideration of our report was laid aside. In justice therefore to ourselves, we beg leave to send your Lordship a duplicate of the said report, together with attested copies of Mr. Attorney and Mr. Sollr., their opinions upon the laws therein mentioned; your Lordp. will be pleased to observe, that we have inserted Mr. Attorneys own words in our report, where we make use of his authority to support our opinion, and have kept strictly to the Solicitors sence where we mention the Law, on which we had his opinion. We must intreat your Lordship to do us the honor of acquainting H.M. in Council at the next meeting with the true state of this affair, that H.M. may be sensible of the great wrong Mr. Attorney and Mr. Sollicitor have done us upon this occasion. [C.O. 153, 13. pp. 181, 182.]
[Dec. 4.]238. Richard Beresford to the Council of Trade and Plantations. It has been long foreseen and complain'd of, that ye French had a design to dispossess us of all our Plantations in the Continent of North America towards which they have been very industrious to make discoverys in those parts, and particularly to find out a way of communication betwixt ye Great Rivers of Quebec and Mississippi. Having effected this by ye travels of M. la Salle and Baron La Hontan, Lewis XIV gave a patent of those new discoverys to M. Crozat in Sept. 1712 under ye name of Louisiana, which not only takes in all that vast country ye Spaniards call Florida but all that part of ye Continent from ye River Mississippi on ye South to Lake Frontenac in ye R. of Canada on ye North from Lon. 282–302, which according to La Hontan's map is almost 3000 m. and together with Canada encompasses all our English plantations on ye Continent by land; so that this grant is a direct encroachmt. on ye patent from our Crown to ye Proprietors of Carolina which extends their grant from ye North to ye South Sea. M. Crozat, having surrender'd his patent to the present French King, His Majesty conferr'd it in August last for 25 years on a trading Society call'd the Western Company of France with very ample powers and privileges an abstract of which is to be seen in the French Amsterdam Gazette of — and in the Flying Post of Sept. 26th. The danger which this grant threatens to all our plantations on the Continent, appears not only from ye situation of these French Colonys, but also from the Articles which empower this Western Company to make alliances war and peace with all the Nations in ye Country that are not dependant on other European powers, allow them to build and garrison fortification in their Colonys and to raise soldiers in France, empower them to fit out as many ships of war as they shall think necessary, assure them of his protection by force of arms if needful and allow them all his forts canon arms ammunition and shipping in that country whither they are oblig'd to transport 6000 whites and 3000 blacks. This grant with ye assistance of ye French in Canada and ye Indian Nations that are already brought into alliance with them will enable ye French effectually to put in execution La Hontan's project either to draw over ye Iroquese Indians etc. to their interest and to engross all ye commerce of those Nations, now in ye hands of the English of New York, or if ye Iroquese etc. don't willingly come into it, ye French may force them by building forts in ye places he mentions etc. We don't know how far this is effected already but have good information that ye French and their Allies design to fall upon ye Chiriquese, an Indian Nation in amity with us upon the bank [? back Ed.] of Carolina, and as they may easily do ye like to those in friendship with us on ye back of our other plantations we shall not only lose all our commerce with ye natives, which will sink our trade but be evidently expos'd to be drove out of ye Continent by the French and their numerous Allies; and what a loss as well as disgrace this will be to England 'tis not easy to be conceiv'd and far less to be express'd. It is therefore humbly propos'd to ye Government that they wou'd be pleas'd to think of proper methods to assert the sovereignty and honour of ye Crown of England against such encroachments and in ye mean time to take such measures as may defend our plantations from ye wars already begun in Carolina and ye others that are daily fear'd from ye French and their Indian Allies elsewhere, towards which defence La Hontan's proposals p. 237 may perhaps deserve to be consider'd. Signed, Richd. Beresford. Endorsed, Recd. 4th, Read 12th Dec., 1717. 2 pp. [C.O. 323, 7. No. 117.]
Dec. 4.
Whitehall.
239. Mr. Popple to John Bernardo de Guardia and Peter Diharce. Requests early delivery of proofs relating to the seizure of the Spanish bellandra, promised to the Board Oct. 15 etc. [C.O. 138, 16. pp. 29, 30.]
Dec. 4.
St. James's.
240. H.M. Commission to Robert Irvine to be Surgeon to the two Independent Companys in Jamaica. Countersigned, Sunderland. [C.O. 324, 33. pp. 116, 117.]
Dec. 4.
Whitehall.
241. Mr. Popple to Sir Wm. Thompson. Desires his opinion as soon as possible in answer to his letter of Oct. 7th. [C.O. 5, 915. p. 64.]
Dec. 5.242. Mr. Solicitor General to Mr. Popple. I had obeyed ye commands of ye Lords Commrs. June last immediately after, if ye petitioners for ye tract of land between Nova Scotia and ye Province of Main had not been ye occasion of theire own delay: I desired theire agent to summon all partyes who had given in memorials against ye petition, and I fix'd a day for a hearing, and I found three different partys not summon'd, ye vacation came on when I was at leisure, I order'd fresh summon's, but I found some of ye partys out of town, and theire, agents applyed for time till theire writings could be produced, I could not in justice deny theire request. It was some time in last month before all partys could be ready etc. I hope ye beginning of next week to be able to obey the commands of ye Lords etc. Signed, Wm. Thomson. Endorsed, Recd. 6th, Read 9th Dec., 1717. Holograph. 3 pp. [C.O. 5, 866. No. 129.]
Dec. 5.
Whitehall.
243. Mr. Popple to Sir Wm. Thomson, Sollicitor Genll. Encloses Act of New Jersey, 1717, to repeal Act ascertaining the place of sitting of the General Assembly, etc., for his opinion thereupon in point of law as soon as possible. [C.O. 5, 995. pp. 417, 418.]
Dec. 6.244. Mrs. Anne Low to Mr. Popple. In obedience to this Honble. Board's commands for my appearance before them next Tuesday I have to request you will let them know I quitt my pretention to ye patent for catching and curing sturgeon in my name in H.M. Dominions in America, etc. Signed, Anne Low. Endorsed, Recd. 6th, Read 9th Dec., 1717. Addressed. ½ p. [C.O. 323, 7. No. 116.]
Dec. 6.
Whitehall.
245. Mr. Popple to Mr. Carkesse. The Council of Trade and Plantations desire an account of all imports and exports to and from New England for 3 years last past etc. [C.O. 5, 915. p. 69.]
Dec. 6.
London.
246. B. de Guardia and P. Diharce to Mr. Popple. Reply to Dec. 4. Wee shall wayte on the Board Tuesday next with the etc. Signed, Bernardo de Guardia, P. Diharce. Endorsed, Recd. 6th, Read 9th Dec., 1717. 1 p. [C.O. 137, 12. No. 103.]
Dec. 9.
Whitehall.
247. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury. Enclose office accounts from Lady day to Michaelmas. Accounts annexed. [C.O. 389, 37. pp. 141–143.]
Dec. 9.248. Mr. Solicitor General to Mr. Popple. I have considered the Act of New Jersey to repeal the Act for the ascertaining the place of the sitting of the Assembly, etc., and as the Act to be repealed was made so lately as the eight year of Queen Ann and is found to be inconvenient and asserted to be contrary to the Royal instructions I doe not apprehend that there can be any scruple why H.M. should not approve of this Act sent over which leaves the place to be appointed as shall be most convenient and the rather for that the Act to be repealed was a restraint of the King's prerogative. Signed, Wm. Thomson. Endorsed, Recd. 9th, Read 10th Dec., 1717. ¾ p. [C.O. 5, 971. No. 64; and 5, 995. pp. 418, 419.]
Dec. 10.
Whitehall.
249. Mr. Popple to Mr. Attorney General Requests immediate reply to enquiry of Nov. 21, as to validity of the surrender of the Bahama Islands, etc. [C.O. 24, 1. p. 14.]
Dec. 10.250. Mr. Attorney General to [? Mr. Popple]. Reply to preceding. I am of opinion a surrender by four, where six are seized, can only convey and extinguish thereby four parts in six, of what the parties enjoyed. However H.M. being intituled under four to four parts of the Government, which is entire, he may execute the whole. And I do not know that the other two can be co-partners with H.M. in governing. For which reason and that there might not be an extinguishmt. by surrender, I apprehend as this case is, a grant to the Crown of the four parts might be more proper. Signed, Edw. Northey. Endorsed, Recd., Read 11th Dec., 1717. ½ p. Enclosed,
250. i. Copy No. 249. [C.O. 23, 1. Nos. 7, 7 i.]
Dec. 10.251. Mr. Clayton to Mr. Popple. Refers to above opinion of the Attorney General. Signed, Alex. Clayton. Endorsed, Recd., Read 10th Dec., 1717. Addressed. 1 p. [C.O. 23, 1. No. 6.]
Dec. 10.
London.
252. Agents of the Spanish owners of the Nostra Signora de Bethleem to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Refer to their previous petition and enclose proofs etc. Signed, Bernardo de Guardia, Pr. Diharce. Endorsed., Recd. 10th Dec., 1717, Read 13th Jan., 1717/18. 3 pp. Enclosed,
252. i. Copy of Minutes of Council of Jamaica, Sept. 1, 1716. 11½ pp.
252. ii. Copy of protest of John Rolfe, procter for Don Manuel de Arambura on behalf of the owners, against the condemnation of the sloop Kensington (=Nostra Signora de Bethleem). Rolfe was refused the aid of Council in Court and not given time to make a proper defence etc. 13th Aug., 1716. Signed, Jno. Rolfe, Manuel de Arambura. 3 pp.
252. iii. Copy of condemnation of the sloop Kensington and her cargo, 16th March, 1716. Signed, Jno. Warner, Judge of the Admiralty, Jamaica. 1 p.
252. iv. Copy of bond given upon appeal from preceding sentence. 27th March, 1716. Signed, Lewis Galdy, Daniel Axtell. 1 p.
252. v. Copy of appeal referred to in preceding. Signed, Manuell de Aramburu, Juan Patricio Grant. 7 pp.
252. vi. Copy of enquiry into the seizure of the Nostra Signora de Bethleem before the Marquis de Casatorres, Governor of Havana, and his decree that letters be despatched to the Governor of Jamaica for restitution etc. 26th and 27th Jan., 1716. Translated from the Spanish, 74 pp.
252. vii. Estimation of the value of the Nostra Signora de Bethleem, her cargo and damages accruing from her seizure. Total:—£36,723 1s. 4d. London. 10th Dec., 1717. Signed, Bernardo de Guardia, P. Diharce. 1¼ pp.
252. viii. Previous estimate of preceding. Total:—£37,485. July 24, 1717. Signed as preceding. [C.O. 137, 12. Nos. 107, 107 i.–viii.]
Dec. 10.
Whitehall.
253. Mr. Popple to Mr. Sollicitor General. Encloses printed book of New Jersey Acts and desires his opinion in point of law as soon as may be upon the Act to lay a duty upon wheat exported out of the Eastern Division etc., the Act that the solemn affirmation and declaration of the people called Quakers shall be accepted instead of an oath etc., and the Acts for inforcing the observation of the ordinance for establishing fees, 1713 and 1717. [C.O. 5, 995. pp. 419, 420.]
Dec. 11.
Whitehall.
254. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Recommend for H.M. approgation Act of New Jersey to repeal the Act for ascertaining the place of sitting of Assembly etc. [C.O. 5, 995. pp. 420, 421.]
Dec. 11.
Whitehall.
255. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr.Secretary Addison. Refer to letter of Nov. 21 and quote Mr. Attorney General's opinion (No. 250). Upon which we only take leave to observe that the two Proprietors who have not executed the surrender, are Minors, which is the only reason, as we are inform'd, why their Trustees have not sign'd for them; However we are of opinion from the reports of former Attornies and Sollicitors General, that had not this surrender been made, the Proprietors by their long neglect in providing for the security of the said Islands and H.M. subjects inhabiting there, had forfeited their right to the Government of those Islands, and that H.M. might legally provide both for the civil and military Government there; Since therefore the Parliament have now voted the necessary supply demanded by H.M. for the security of these Islands, and since Capt. Rogers together with his friends, who are Adventurers upon this occasion, do actually stand at a considerable daily expence in demurrage on the ships which they have at their own charge fitted out for transporting the new Governor with his stores, ammunition, provisions and garrison to Providence, we would intreat you to lay the said Commission and Instructions as soon as conveniently may be before H.M. for his Royal Signature. [C.O. 24, 1. pp. 15–17.]
Dec. 12.
Whitehall.
256. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Addison. Enclose Mr. Beresford's report (Dec. 4.) of the French designs etc. Continue:— This has been further confirm'd to us by Mr. Cuming Surveyor of ye Customs at Boston; By wch. means all H.M. Provinces on the Continent are inclos'd between the said French settlements and the sea. Upon this occasion we are writing to H.M. Governors in North America for their opinion what may be proper to be done for preventing the inconveniencies that may happen from the French extending their settlements in this manner etc. [C.O. 324, 10. pp. 156, 157.]
Dec. 12.
Whitehall.
257. Same to Same. Pursuant to H.M. commands, Sept. 3rd, enclose following. Annexed,
257. i. Draft of H.M. Additional Instruction to Governor Walter Hamilton. Whereas several inconveniences have arisen to our Governments of the Plantations by gifts and presents made to our Governors by the General Assemblies, for which reason you have been prohibited by an Instruction from us to give your consent to any Acts for granting to you any such presents or to receive any such presents from the respective Assemblies, or others on any account or in any manner whatsoever excepting a limited sum for the rent of a house. And whereas the Assembly of our Island of Antigua have passed an Act for setling upon you a sum of a thousand pound of the mony of that Island pr. ann. for house rent, during your continuance in the Government of our Leeward Islands. And we have allowed you to receive the said sum, during our pleasure, and we do hereby revoke and annul the forementioned Instruction, and do likewise hereby will and require you upon pain of our highest displeasure not to pass any act or order for any gift or present to yourself, to our Lieut. General or to any of our Lieut. Governors or Commanders in Chief for the time being from the Assembly or Assemblies of any of our Islands under your Government; and that you do not receive any gift or present whatsoever either directly or indirectly, other than the forementioned thousand pounds pr. ann. etc. [C.O. 153, 13. pp. 183–185.]
[Dec. 16.]258. Abstract of agreement concluded between Jno. Borland and Tho. Minshall and other fishmongers of London for serving them with sturgeon for 7 years, 28th Feb., 1716. Endorsed, Recd. 16th Dec., 1717. 1¼ pp. [C.O. 5, 866. No. 130.]
Dec. 16.259. Mr. Attorney General to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Reply to Nov. 26. The design of the Acts of Barbadoes referred to being to ascertain the fees of the several officers of that Island and to hang up tables of those fees in their respective offices etc.; if the fees be reasonable (of which I am not a judge) I have no objection against the design of the said Acts, but I am of opinion that one of the remedies appointed by the said Acts for punishing the offenders agst. the said Acts is unreasonable and unjust, especially as to the Secretary, Provost Marshall and Register in Chancery etc. Quotes provision in case of excessive fee being taken described No. 210, q.v. Wherefore I am humbly of opinion, that the said Acts with the said powers are not fit to receive H.M. approbation, if they have not already had the approbation of the Crown. Signed, Edw. Northey. Endorsed, Recd. 1st, Read 18th Dec., 1717. 2¼ pp. Enclosed,
259. i. Duplicate of No. 210. [C.O. 28, 15. Nos. 25, 26; and 29, 13. pp. 440–442.]
[Dec. 17.]260. Petition of Robert Cunynghame to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Petitioner served in the Regiment of Foot in the Leeward Islands from Sept. 1692—Jan. 1699, and in the Expedition against Martenico. In the last war he went a Voluntier against Guadeloup, where he was appointed Commissary General, and had a post of trust and great danger in the last reduction of St. Christophers from the French. Being desirous to provide for his eleven children he did purchase from Mrs. Dorothy Mitchell, widow of Capt. Thomas Mitchel, H.M.S. Sheerness, her and her daughter's right which Governor Douglas made unto Capt. Mitchel for a plantation of 200 acres in BasseTerre Quarter, formerly belonging to Monsieur Giraudel or Monsieur Lambert. Petitioner applied to Governor Hamilton to renew the grant, the time limited therein being expired or near expired, who said he must give it him the said Governor which the petitioner would not agree to; the Governor put the grant among his papers; some time after petitioner being told the Governor had given a grant of said Plantation unto Mr. Milliken of Nevis, petitioner went to the Governor who told him he had given it to Mr. Milliken beleiving the petitioner had complained against him. Petitioner continued possessed of the dwelling house upon the said plantation untill he left St. Christophers and has not any advice of his being dispossest. Prays for their Lordships' recommendation to H.M. that he may have the preferance in the purchase of the said plantation in the name of Daniel Cunynghame his second son, under conditions that petitioner may enjoy the profits during his life and may charge it with legacies at his death, petitioner being ready to comply with what their Lordships shall be pleased to order in relation to Mr. Stoddart. (cf. 24th Jan., 1718.) Endorsed, Recd. 17th Dec., Read 23rd Jan., 1717/18. 1½ pp. [C.O. 152, 12. No. 61; and 153, 13. pp. 194–197.]
Dec. 18.261. Mr. Solicitor General to Mr. Popple. Reply to 7th June, as to granting of lands between Nova Scotia and Maine. I have considered the petition and memorials and heard all parties except Mr. Partridge, absent from England etc. His son being summoned answered that he should take no care about it. I found Mr. Dummer unable to make out any of the facts alleged in his first Memorial (Dec. 3, 1716), but he wanted time to produce the deeds of purchase. To make good the assertion in his second Memorial (v. 30th May), he referred to the words of the Charter in the printed book p. (13). Quotes clause of Charter beginning Provided also that it shall and may be lawfull for the said Governour and General Assembly to make or pass any grant of lands lying within the bounds of Colonies formerly called the Colonies of the Massachusetts Bay and New Plymouth and province of Maine etc. Upon consideration of these words I am humbly of opinion that the Crown has not divested itself in any manner of the right to the lands described to be extending from the River of Sagadahock to the Gulfe of St. Laurence and Canada Rivers and to the main sea northward and eastward which I understand is the land in question nor has the Crown given the said Governour and General Assembly any of the sd. lands these words being at most only a power by implicacon to prepare grants which are to have no validity unless confirmed by the Crown so that I humbly conceive that there is nothing in this Charter which prevents the Crown from granting these lands the sole legal right remaining still in the Crown. I required the Agent for Duke Hamilton to make out the right of the Duke to the 10,000 acres as is asserted in the letter of her Grace the Dutchess of Hamilton (31st May) and I find that there was a grant in the 11th year of Charles I of that quantity of acres lying on the S.E. side of Sagadahock river to the then Marquis of Hamilton and his heires. But I do not find that the grantee or his descendants have taken possession or in any manner occupyed the same which is attributed to the Civil Warrs in England that ensued after the said grant and to the other warrs of the Indians not many years after the Restauracon nor do I find that any other person have been in possession of the same. If so it would be hard for the Crown not to reserve such right in any future grant. As to Sr. By by Lake's pretencons for himself and the others menconed in his Memorial I required some proofe of the assertions of their right to the lands meneoned therein and there were produced to me a conveyance under the hand and seal of Robert West Esq. to Sr. Byby Lake by vertue of a patent dated 6th Dec. in the 2nd year of James II and several authentick copies of ancient deeds which were purchased of Indians and English certified under the hand and seal of the Governour of the Province of Massachusetts bay which seem to convey a very good title to the Memorialists of the particulars hereafter menconed (vizt.) Rowsick als. Arrowsick Island lying on the East side of Kennebeck River Nequeasitt als. Negwesseg als. Negwassag bounded by Sagadiock River on the Western side thereof one great Pond lying on the North side thereof and the River commonly called Negwasseg River on the West side thereof And all houses and lands in Negwassett bounded by Sackrehock River on the West or Westerly and so to Merrymeeting Creek and from thence to the Northwards eight miles up into the country and from thence Easterly to Shipscott River and from thence to a place called Tapanegine Southerly and from thence all along Mounswaggen Bay and so along to Russeck and from Russeck to Tusseck and from thence to Merrymeeting all along Sackrehock River All lands upon the River of Kennebeck the bounds and limmitts whereof extend from the Northmost of a certain place called Caper Sacantry and on both sides of the aforesaid River of Kennebeck reaching ten miles into the woods on each side of the said River Kennebeck East and West and so extending Southward unto a certain place called and known by the name of a swome all which is about four leagues length South and North All lands lying on both sides Kennebeck River reaching ten miles into the woods on each side of the River beginning about half a mile above Swam Alley extending to the Northmost part of Caper Secontie als. Caper Sacantry which is in length up and down the River about 12 or 14 miles And all lands at and about Teconock als. Tockonock lying and being on both sides of the said River Kennebeck reaching tenn miles into the woods beginning at the lower end Neaguamer als. Neguamkett and so reaching up the River four miles above the falls of Tockonock All lands lying in and about Agnascorangan adjoyning to Kennebeck River on the Northwest and so South westward to the Southermost Island of Negnomkey and six miles from Tockonock falls Northeastward and so fifteen miles all along from the said River Kennebeck into the main land Southeastwards and all houses edifieces buildings lands grounds trees timber woods underwoods mines minerals feedings pastures moors marshes swamps meadows waters watercourses pooles ponds lakes rivers brookes cones innletts creakes bays fishing fowling hawking and hunting profitts priviledges advantages hereditaments and appurtts whatsoever in the North East part of New England in America. And the Memorialists' Ancestors were at great expence in improveing and maintaining the premisses but were unhappily driven from thence by the Indians and some of them particularly the said Sr. Byby Lake's grandfather destroyed by the Indians in defence of their possessions etc., and the Memorialists have been at great expences to improve and resettle these premisses since H.M. happy accession and have settled a great many families thereupon and are now in quiet possession thereof. I am therefore humbly of opinion that in justice and equity these Memorialists the Duke Hamilton Sr. Bybye Lake and Ann the wife of Increase Mather Edward Hutchinson and Josiah Walco are entituled also to a reservation of their right to the premises aforesaid respectively. Signed, Wm. Thomson. Endorsed, Recd., Read 19th Dec., 1717. 3¾. pp. [C.O. 5, 866. No. 131; and 5, 915. pp. 70–77.]
Dec. 18.262. Deposition of Mrs. Wensley, wife, and Mrs. Low daughter of George Wensley Fishmonger of London. In 1715 George Wensley discovered the receipt for pickling and curing sturgeon to John Plowman who had no other knowledge of it etc. Signed, Anne Wensley, Anne Low. Endorsed, Recd. 19th Dec., 1717, Read 24th Jan., 1717/18;. ¾ p. [C.O. 5, 866. No. 134.]
Dec. 18.
Whitehall.
263. Mr. Popple to Mr. Attorney General. Encloses for his opinion in point of law two Acts pass'd in Virginia, prohibiting the unlawful assembly of Quakers and concerning foreign debts. [C.O. 5, 1365. p. 19.]
Dec. 18.
St. James's.
264. Order of King in Council. Approving draught of Instructions to the Governor of Jamaica, presented Oct. 11th (q.v.), excepting in the 95th Article wherein the words (That is to say from the Saturday to the Monday) are to be left out, etc. Signed, Edward Southwell. Endorsed, Recd. 30th, Read 31st Jan., 1717/18;. 1½ pp. [C.O. 137, 12. No. 112; and 138, 16. pp. 63–65; and 5, 189. p. 334(a)].
Dec. 18.
Whitehall.
265. Mr.Popple to Mr. Charles Stanhope. The Council of Trade and Plantations desire the Lords Commrs. of the Treasury to instruct Mr. Cratchrode to attend the Attorney and Solicitor General with such papers as they shall furnish him with in order to attend in behalf of H.M. at their hearing of Col. Codrington on his petition, [C.O. 153, 13. pp. 185, 186.]
Dec. 19.266. Mr Attorney General to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Reply to No. 232. Mr. Cockburn's petition (Nov. 21st) is unadvisedly framed, for that H.M. cannot by law give a direction to any Court for to rehear any cause depending therein, but rehearings are granted or denyed by Courts of Equity on petition of the parties grieved to such Court as shall be judged proper. And as to the Instructions given to the Governour mentioned in the petition, whereby he is restrained from allowing of an appeal in any case under the value of £500 sterling, that does restrain the Governour only from granting of appeals under that value, Notwithstanding which it is in H.M. power, upon a petition to allow an appeal in cases of any value, where he shall think fit, and such appeals have been often allowed by H.M., but I think the reference to your Lordsps. in that matter is improper, for petitions for appeals from decrees given in the Plantations have been always referred to a Committee of the Council for hearing the causes of the Plantations, and on their report that it is proper to allow the appeal prayed for, H.M. in Council has usually allowed the same and not in any other manner. I have perused the decree and think the petitioner has great hardship therein, and that upon a proper application he may obtain an appeale in that case. Signed, Edw. Northey. Endorsed, Recd. 20th Dec., 1717, Read 20th Jan., 1717/18. 2⅓ pp. Enclosed,
266. i. Copy of No. 218. i.
266. ii. Copy of Wm. Congreve's Patent to be Secretary of Jamaica.
266. iii. Copy of Article 44 of H.M. Instructions to the Governor of Jamaica. [C.O. 137, 12. Nos. 110, 110 i.–iii.; and (without enclosures) 138, 16. pp. 55–58.]
Dec. 19.267. Mr. Solicitor General to Mr. Popple. Reply to No. 253. The Act about fees and ferriages. I think it is a restraint upon the liberty of the subject in selling and in working for what may be judged a reasonable price or hire and may be so agreed upon between both ptys. and may be more than this Act allows yett the penaltys are very severe upon them if they take more 'tis reasonable and usual in most countrys to omitt the fees of publick officers But whither this general restraint as also that no ferrys shall be sett up without licence be for the service of the country I must submitt to their Lops. The Act that the solemn affirmation of the people called Quakers shall be taken instead of an oath goes further than is allowed to them in England they cannot be wittnesses or have concern in criminal causes or have offices etc. But whither the necessity in that country may not require a greater indulgence to them their Lops. best know. I have no objection in point of law to the Act to enforce the ordinance for establishing fees nor to that for exporting wheat etc. out of the Eastern division. Signed, Wm. Thomson. Endorsed, Recd. 20th Dec., 1717, Read 21st Jan., 1717/18. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 971. No. 65; and 5, 995. pp. 421–423.]
[Dec. 20.]268. Thomas Coram to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Some remarks upon the Solicitor General's report, Dec. 18. The underwritten Thomas Coram prayes to say That as there was never any grant or patent to the Marquiss of Hamilton for 10,000 acres within this tract nor any manner of improvements by him made on any lands there he beleives your Lordships will have reason to declare the Duke's pretentions to be of no effect. The conveyance from Robert West to Sr. Bibby Lake was made since the late Peace and got on purpose to prevent this settlement. Robert West could have no power to make conveyancy of any lands there if his kinsmen in whose right he claim'd had had any good title himself, for that all those lands were conquerd by the French and remaind in their possession many yeares in peace and in warr (as may appear by Lord Bellemont's letter of 15 July 1700) and stil continud to the French until recoverd by conquest 1710 at the charge of the Crowne and confirmd to it by the 12th Article of the late Peace. Sr. Bibby Lake's purchases of single Indians cannot be of any value for those single Indians when drunk woud for a bottle of strong lequers signe any paper presented to them which conveyancies the Tribe will never consent to and that was the true cause of so many of H.M. subjects being murderd. Those deeds being certified under the hand and seale of the Govr. of the Massachusets Bay is something very extreordenary and is what the Govrs. who were annually chosen by the people (and not by the Crowne) would not have done had it not been to give it a kind of a coulour of right to themselves and their friends for the Governour of the Massachusets had no more right to concern themselves with any land in this tract than the people of Guarnezy or Jersey have to the Highlands of Scotland. If those grants from the Indians should be confirmd it would create new warrs with the Indians and make it impracticall ever to settle this noble tract of 180 miles front to the sea for raising Naval Stores or be any wayes advantageous to the Crowne. This tract of land is not desird for ye intrest of privat persons but to have it an intire Province on a better foot than most of the other Plantations for ye service of H.M. and the publick benefits of the Kingdome. Signed, Tho. Coram. Endorsed, Recd., Read 20th Dec., 1717. Holograph. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 866. No. 132.]
[Dec. 20.]269. Joseph Micklethwaite, Tho. Reynolds and Anthony Cracherode to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Since our Memorial (Nov. 18), we have been advised that it will be more acceptable to the Governour and people of Barbadoes that we should seek redress agt. those laws from themselves, than that we should endeavour to obtain orders to be sent to them from hence, for wch. reason we beg leave to withdraw our sd. memorial. Signed, Jo. Micklethwaite, A. Cracherode. Endorsed, Recd. Read 20th Dec., 1717. ½ p. [C.O. 28, 15. No. 27; and 29, 13. p. 448.]
Dec. 20.
South Sea House.
270. Daniel Wescomb to Mr. Popple. Encloses following. Signed, Daniel Wescomb. Endorsed, Recd., Read 20th Dec., 1717. ½ p. Enclosed,
270. i. Copy of Act of Jamaica for imposing a duty on exported negroes, Aug. 31, 1717. 2½ pp.
270. ii. Extract of letter from Agents of the South Sea Company at Jamaica to the Court of Directors. Give instance of payment of above duty by a ship merely calling at the port. By this new Law, if your vessels come in sight of Jamaica (for some of the Cays belonging to it are almost out of sight of it) they'I expect the duty of 40s pr. head, etc. The people in this Country deem all laws to be good (tho H.M. should reject them at home) to the time his pleasure is known here. 1 p. [C.O. 137, 12. Nos. 104, 104 i., ii.; and (without enclosures) 138, 16. p. 31.]
Dec. 21.
Jamaica.
271. Peter Heywood, Commander in Chief of Jamaica, to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Refers to letter of 11th Oct. Continues:—I think the pyrates daily increase takeing and plundering most ships and vessells that are bound to this Island severall of which they keep particularly the Mary of Bristoll with all her cargoe, three of them have very lately landed on the Leewd. part of this Island abused the inhabitants and took away what they thought for their purpose, so that no ships that are bound for Great Brittain dare stirr without a convoy which made me with the Councill address Capt. Candler to stay in these seas, and convoy the ships now ready, that Capt. Reynolds in the Adventure might have time to careen wch. he writt me would take at least two months the greatest part of his sheathing being decayed and the uncertainty when Capt. Jacob might return from La Vera Crux. Signed, Peter Heywood. Endorsed, Recd., Read 10th March, 1717. 2 pp. [C.O. 137, 12. No. 123; and 138, 16. pp. 96, 97.]
Dec. 21.
Whitehall.
272. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Representation upon petition of South Sea Company, 31st Oct. We have carefully perused the Act of Jamaica complained of, to impose dutys on several commoditys to defray the extraordinary charge of the Government, wch. contains many matters and clauses liable to objection besides those complain'd of by the South Sea Company; and we shou'd have some time since laid before your Majesty our opinion, concerning this Act, if the same had not been expir'd; But considering what has been lately offered to us by the petitioners on this occasion, relating to a design of renewing the said Act from time to time; we shall in the first place humbly inform your Majesty of the state of the matter now in question, as it appears to us from the arguments that have been offer'd by some Directors of the South Sea Company in support of their petition on the one part and from the facts and usage alledg'd by several gentlemen and planters of the Island in justification of the duty laid by this Act on the other side; after which we shall make our observations on such other parts of the sd. Act as to us appear highly unreasonable. The Company have produc'd to us extracts of sevl. letters from their Agents, whereby it appears, that this duty has been demanded of them, not only for the negros bought in the Isld. but likewise for such as have been landed there for refreshment and recovery of their health, and also for those who have put into port, tho' they never sett foot on shore, wch. the Company conceive to be as unreasonable as if a duty shoud be laid on all ships that put into the Island for wood and water, a liberty that has never been refus'd, even to foreigners in amity with your Majesty in any part of your Dominions. The Directors did not seem to think themselves so much aggriev'd by the duty on exportation of negros bought in Jamaica, as on the re-exportation of those brought in for refreshment and the tax upon such as were never landed, tho' they do conceive that they ought to be free from dutys in all these cases, because there were no dutys in Jamaica on the exportation of negros at the time of making the Assiento contract, which being a publick and national agreement between the Crowns of Great Britain and Spain, they do conceive it wou'd be very unreasonable that they shou'd be renderd less capable to perform the same by any law made subsequent to the said contract more especially in the Plantations, whereby the trade of the Mother Kingdom will be affected. They did likewise further alledge that they had reason to believe the present duty was the effect of some persons' resentment there, whom the Company had refus'd to employ as their Agents; For altho' there had formerly been such a duty in Jamaica yet it had been discontinued (as they were informd) for 8 or 9 years past as being found inconvenient for the Island. But since they found themselves thus hardly treated they had already orderd three of their ships to touch at Barbados instead of Jamaica, and shou'd be oblig'd to give the like orders to all the rest, if this duty be continued; Whereby the Island wou'd be depriv'd of the many advantages the people of Jamaica do at present reap from the Company's ships touching there, and which are very considerable not only upon account of the great expence their sailors make there, whom they pay in the Island, but likewise by reason of ye refreshments bought there for the negros; and because this trade doth necessarily occasion greater numbers of vessels to come to the Island from H.M. Plantations on the Continent of America with provisions, wch. causes a great circulation of Trade there; Besides that the Company do frequently hire sloops in the Island for transporting their slaves after they are refresh'd to the Spanish Continent, and their own ships being oblig'd either to return home empty or accept of a moderate freight, the inhabitants of Jamaica do thence obtain an opportunity of sending home the product of their Island on much cheaper terms than formerly. On the other hand, the Gentlemen of Jamaica, who have attended us in behalf of the Island, do say, that the Assiento being soley in the South Sea Company, exclusive of all interlopers, is a great detriment to Jamaica, where formerly the inhabitants had a considerable trade in negros by connivance to the Spanish Coast—That it is absolutely necessary for the support of the Government of Jamaica to raise taxes on the Trade as well as the inhabitants there—That Sr. James Castile, who in King Charles the second's and in King James the second's reigns had the Assiento to himself and Company being Portugueeze, always paid the said duty now complaind of; and that the same has at different times been laid by Additional Duty bills for these 20 years past—That Sr. James paid as well for those negros that were landed only for refreshment as others—That the same duty was paid by the inhabitants of Jamaica, even when they carry'd negros to New York or any other of the Plantations belonging to Great Britain—That the present Assiento takes away the best negros from Jamaica to the Spaniards, leaving only the worst for the use of your Majesty's subjects, unless they give as high a price as the Spaniards, which occasions great inconvenience and expence to the Planters—That as to the advantages wch. the Company do affirm the Island dos receive from their Trade they woud much rather forego the same than be depriv'd of the liberty of laying impositions in such manner as may inable them to support the necessary expences of the Govt. by methods least grievous to the inhabitants. Upon due consideration therefore of all that hath been offer'd on both sides in relation to this affair, We are humbly of opinion that how just soever it may be that the people of Jamaica shou'd be left at liberty to lay such dutys as they shall think necessary for the support of your Majesty's Government there on negros bought in their own Island, it cannot be reasonable, that they shou'd lay a tax upon negros landed there by the South Sea Company for refreshment, and much less on such as do only put into their harbours for wood and water, because this wou'd be an oppression upon the South Sea Company and consequently support Jamaica at the expence of the British Trade, nor can precedents of the like duty drawn from former times, whilst the Assiento was in the hands of foreigners in any sort justify the like proceeding in the present case, the sd. contract being now vested in your Majesty's own subjects in whose loss or gain, the whole Kingdom of Great Britain is immediately concernd; And therefore we humbly offer that your Majesty's pleasure be signify'd to the Governor of Jamaica, that he do not pass any law for the future, that shall lay a duty upon the re-exportation of negros that have been brought thither only for refreshment, and much less on such as touch in the ports of Jamaica without landing there. And now we shall beg leave to mention some other objections to this Act:—That it lays a higher duty upon the trade and shipping of all other your Majesty's subjects, than those of Jamaica. That the inhabitants of the two parishes of St. Jago de la Vega and Kingston are to pay 12d. pr. pound for the rent of every house, altho' the rest of the Island is not charg'd with any tax on that account, and we cannot conceive why those particular parishes shou'd be distinguish'd in this manner from the rest. That by this Act Commissioners are appointed to receive and to distribute the mony arising thereby with an allowance of 7½ p.c., in diminution of your Majty's. Royal Prerogative and in prejudice of the Receiver General, your Majesty's Patent Officer, these Commissrs. are to give bond of £8000 for the due execution of the Act; and notwithstanding they shall have perform'd all that is requir'd by the Act and by consequence the bond become void, it is not to be cancell'd but in the presence of the President of the Council and of the Speakers of the Assembly, and if any person shall presume to do or advise the contrary, they shall forfeit double the penalty of the bond, without allowing any pardon or non vult ulterius prosequi. Besides in several other clauses of this Act, your Majesty's prerogative of pardon or granting a non vult ulterius prosequi is taken away. In order therefore to prevent such inconveniencys and absurditys for ye future; We are humbly of opinion, it may be convenient your Majesty's Governor of Jamaica shou'd be made acquainted with the objections we have to this Act, and be particularly injoin'd carefully to observe the several Instructions given him by your Majty., with relation to the passing of laws in that Island, more especially in such cases where your Majesty's Royal Prerogative or the Trade of Great Britain may be any ways affected, wch. precaution will be still more necessary in the passing of mony bills, than those of any other nature, because generally they have their duration, but for one year and frequently have their effect before your Majesty's royal pleasure can be known concerning them. P.S.—Since the close of the foregoing Representation, we have reced. a further information from the South Sea Company, that the foremention'd Act was renew'd in Augt. last, and the former duty of 20s. on negros continued with an addition of 20s. more on ye negros belonging to the South Sea Company only. [C.O. 138, 16. pp. 32–43.]
Dec. 23.273. Mr. Attorney General to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Reply to No. 216. The said Additional Act of Barbados is to constitute a new Commissioner and a new Marshal (those mentioned in the first Act being dead or removed) to execute the powers in the original and this Additional Act, in part executed or not executed. And provides several remedies where moneys bid on sales at outcrys pursuant to the first Act have not been paid, and lays several penalties on such bidders not paying what they shall have did, and impowers a person to bid, in behalf of the Government, where no person appears to bid, by which I apprehend is meant a real bidder; for in the oath of the person impowered to bid, he swears he will not bid, but where no other person will bid, or unless a person shall endeavour to purchase the lands at an under rate, and swears he will not exceed in such bidding two thirds of what he shall in his conscience esteem the land to be worth, which seems to be a penalty on the owner for keeping away bidders. Otherwise I don't see why the bidder should not give the value of the estate. And the said Additional Act gives several powers for the better executing the design of the former Act, which was to discharge the debts and engagements contracted by reason of an Act to supply the want of cash etc. (commonly called the Paper Act) which was repealed by her late Majestie, and I have no objection in point of law agst. the said Additional Act. There is therein a pritty extraordinary punishment on persons bidding for lands which they were then incapable of paying for, vizt. imprisonment for a year, to be set in the pillory, and to have their ears cut off, but that being only for persons, who knew their own inabilities I have no objection thereto. Signed, Edw. Northey. Endorsed, Recd. 24th Dec., 1717, Read 2nd Jan., 1717/18. 1¾ pp. [C.O. 28, 15. No. 28; and 29, 13. pp. 444–446.]
Dec. 23.
Boston, N. England.
274. Josiah Willard, Secretary to the Massachusetts Bay, to Mr. Popple. I have thought it proper to advise you of my arrival here, that (if it be necessary) the Lords Commissioners may know that I am no longer absent from my post, etc. I must use this opportunity of recommending to you an affair in wch. I am deeply interested. The first Act of the Assembly of this Province relating to fees was made in the fourth year of William and Mary, and among other articles referring to the Secretaries fees are these two Every Order of Council for the benefit of particular persons 2/6. Every petition to the Governor and Council or Genl. Assembly from 2/6 to 10/s. In the first year of his present Majtie's. reign an Act pass'd entituled an Act in addition to an Act for regulating fees, the words of wch. are as follows, Whereas in the aforesaid Act there is not mention made of the fees to be taken for many things wch. may from time to time be enter'd, recorded, registered and copied either in the Secretaries or Clerks Offices of the several Courts within this Province; Be it therefore enacted etc. that no officer whatsoever shall ask, demand and take any more than 12 pence a page for the entering, recording registring and copying all and every matter and thing whatsoever. The design of wch. Act was not only to prevent any demand of extravagant fees, but also to state and appoint fees for such work as was never in any former Acts mentioned, as is plain both by the Preamble of this Act, and by the consequent practice of the House of Representatives, who pass'd Mr. Woodward the late Secretaries accts. without the least demur, in wch. he charges twelve pence a page for entering and copying the public transactions of the Governmt. In the Sessions of the Assembly held in May last an Act pass'd entituled an Act in addition to and explanation of two Acts (the Acts before mentioned). The body of wch. Act is in these terms; viz., Be it enacted etc. that no fee whatsoever shall be due or demanded in the Secretaries Office, for any Order of the Govr. and Council for the payment of any public debts of and from the Government: and that the fee for any petition to the Govr. and Council referring to any debt of the Province as aforesaid be 2/6 and no more: that no fee whatsoever shall be due or demanded in the said Office for any other copies or copying than such as are taken from fair entries, registers or records, and those only for a private use and not for the service of the Governmt. This Act is really a repeal of the two former Acts. The Act with some others is sent Home for the Royal Assent etc. I hope their Lordships will be so good Guardians of such offices as are in H.M. gift as not to think Acts of that kind fit to pass; for by the last clause of this Act the heaviest and most troublesome business in the Secretaries Office must be done without the least consideration of profit; and the salary is so scandalously small, as not to amount to more than £40 sterling. Besides I cannot think it in the power of the Governmt. here to take off the fees of any offices that are held by Lettrs. Patent under the Great Seal, after they have by their own Acts stated and settled them. I entreat your friendship in making a proper representation of the great injury done to the Secretaries Office by this Act. Please to give my service to Mr. Bamfield, and assure him that if I can be useful to him in anything that may fall in my way on this side the water, I shall very readily embrace the opportunity etc. Signed, Josiah Willard. Endorsed, Recd. 25th Feb., Read 4th March, 1717/18. Addressed. Holograph. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 866. No. 141; and 5,915. pp. 93–96.]
Dec. 24.275. Mr. Attorney General to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Reply to queries of No. 213. I do most humbly certifie your Lordships that by the Charter of King Charles II, dated the 10th of October in the 28th year of his reign, H.M. did grant and declare, that the Governour and Council of Virginia for the time being, and in the absence of the Governour, the Deputy Governour and Council or any five or more of them (whereof the Governour or his Deputy to be always one) should have full power and authority to hear and determine all treasons, murthers, felonies and other offences to be committed or done within the said Government, so as they proceed therein as near as may be to the Laws and Statutes of England; By which H.M. did erect a Court in the Governour and Council of Virginia for the time being with power to take cognizance of all crimes whatsoever, and did no more thereby than what the Crown does in all cases erecting Courts, and might and may notwithstanding such grant, appoint other Courts, who shall have concurrent jurisdiction with that Court, for the Crown hath not thereby excluded it's authority of erecting other Courts of the like nature. But by the Book entituled The Laws of Virginia now in force, published in the year 1662 before the making of that Charter, it does appear, that there was a Court in Virginia called the General Court held before the making of those Letters Patents, which must be presumed to have been erected by some former Letters Patents; For by the 19th Act it appears, that the General Court was before called Quarter Courts, and by that Law the name is changed from Quarter Courts to that of General Courts, etc.; And in the 24th chapter for the regulating the proceedings in that Court it is enacted, that all criminal causes that concern either life or member, shall be tryed at the General Courts, only the fourth day of the said Courts, Which I am of opinion, did not in any sort restrain criminal causes to be tryed in other Courts, but did provide that all criminal causes that should be tryed at the General Courts, should be tryed only on the fourth day of the said Courts. Several of the subsequent laws therein are touching the proceedings of that and other Courts then in being. The next Act taken notice of, was made 23rd Oct., 1705, for establishing the General Court, whereby for continuing, constituting and erecting competent Courts it is enacted, that at some certain place, to be lawfully appointed, and at such times as in the Act is directed, there should be held one principal Court of Judicature for Virginia, which should be and is thereby establisht by the name of the General Court of Virginia, and shall consist of H.M. Governour or Commander in Chief, and the Council for the time being (any five of them to be a quorum) and they are thereby declared and appointed Judges or Justices to hear and determine all suits and controversies, that should be depending in the said Court. Which was a further Act confirming the General Court and the Judges therein, which in no sort excludes H.M. power of appointing other Courts of concurrent jurisdiction. And in the said Act there are divers rules for governing the Judges and suitors in their proceedings, and also a clause taking notice that, forasmuch as several fines and forfeitures by that and several other Acts, were or might be directed to be recovered in any Court of Record, it is by that Act declared, that the General Court and the County Courts should be deemed and taken to be the only Courts of Record in that Dominion, and that no other Court or Courts whatsoever should be construed, deemed or taken to be such; Which I am of opinion did not carry any restriction to H.M. from making other Courts of Record, but that forfeitures to be recovered by Act of Assembly in Courts of Record, should be recovered in those Courts therein mentioned. Besides by the Act made 25th Oct. in the ninth year of the reign of Her late Majesty Queen Anne for explaining the aforementioned Act, it is enacted, that nothing in that Act contained should be construed, deemed or taken to derogate from, lessen or abridge the Royal power of H.M. her heires and successors, of granting commission or commissions of Oyer and Terminer and of constituting and erecting such other Court or Courts of Record, as H.M., her heires or successors, by Her or their commission or commissions, instruction or instructions to Her or their Governr. or Commander in Chief of that Colony and Dominion, for the time being, should direct, order or appoint. By which it's most plain, that notwithstanding the being of the General Court with such powers as aforesaid, even by the words of that Act the power of appointing special commissions of Oyer and Terminer etc., was and is in the Crown, and is well given to the Governour by his commission; And in such special commissions of Oyer and Terminer, such persons may be appointed Commissioners therein, with or exclusive of the Council there; But I am of opinion, the Governr. or Lt. Governr. and Council, being appointed Judges of the General Court, H.M. Governour by vertue of any power or authority, cannot constitute or impower any other persons to be Judges in that Court, that Court and the Judges thereof being constituted by Letters Patents, and confirmed by Act of Assembly. I have considered the objections made against H.M. power, and so far as they are founded upon the Charter or Acts of Assembly, I have hereinbefore given my opinion thereon; What remain are only arguments ab inconvenienti and from the fatal consequences represented to be, if a Governr. should have power to appoint Judges to try people for their lives; To which I am of opinion, they are not arguments against the power but against the use of it, and peradventure in case of bad Governours there might be such consequences at a distance from England, And in regard by the Act of 1705 the General Court is to be held the 15th April and the 15th Oct. and to continue for 18 days, H.M. may be pleased for the preventing of inconveniencies, and quieting the minds of His subjects there, by His Instructions to the Governour, to restrain his power of issuing special Commissions of Oyer and Terminer, except in cases of extraordinary emergencies, and in the vacancy of the General Court. Signed, Edw. Northey. Endorsed, Recd. 24th, Read 31st Dec., 1717. 4¾ pp. [C.O. 5, 1318. No. 41; and 5, 1365. pp. 29–36.]
Dec. 24.
276. Accounts of the victualling of the Garrison at Annapolis Royal, 25th June—24th Dec., 1717. 30 pp. [C.O. 217, 38. No. 2.]
Dec. 24.
Custome ho., London.
277. Mr. Carkesse to Mr. Popple. Reply to 18th Oct. (q.v). The Commrs. having formerly received an accompt that foreign sugars etc. were frequently imported into H.M. Plantations and from thence brought to Great Britain, and entred as sugars etc. of H.M. Plantations they directed the Collectrs. and Naval officers in the several Plantations, in order to prevent frauds in the importing such goods into this Kingdom, to give this Board notice from time to time when any should be ship'd from their respective districts for this Kingdom, whereby, if the officers in the Plantations do transmit such accompt as is directed, all foreign sugars etc. on importation into Great Britain, will be obliged to pay such Customs as the Law directs. And the Commrs. having read and considered the said Act, have directed me to transmit to you their observations thereon which are enclosed. The Commrs. have also directed me to acquaint you, that Mr. Perrie late Surveyr. Genll. of Barbados and ye Leeward Islands did some time since inform them that the Governr. and Assembly of Antego had voted an Address to H.M. for obtaining four places to be appointed in that Island for collecting the duties of 4½ p.c., which permission would not only very much encrease the charge of management in that Island, but be of other ill consequences to the Revenue there. Wherefore the Commrs. desire they may have an opportunity to give their opinion, if there shall be occasion, before any Order goes for appointing those places etc. Signed, Cha. Carkesse. Endorsed, Recd. 24th Dec., 1717, Read 21st Jan., 1717/18. Addressed. 1½ pp. Enclosed,
277. i. Observations by the Commissioners of Customs on an Act past in Antigua 19th June, 1716. (i.) The prohibiting the importation of foreign sugars etc. into the said Island will lessen H.M. Revenue there granted by an Act past in the said Island 1715 which is repeated by the said Act of 1716. (ii.) The clause impowering the Treasurer of ye Islands or Deputies appointed by him to seize, in case of the neglect or refusall of the Officer of the Customs for the space of four hours after information shall be given seems to disqualifie the Officers of the Customs, on one single neglect or refusal for ever, tho' they should be necessarily employed in the execution of some other part of their duty. (iii.) The penalty of felony laid upon any shipper or master of ship etc. who shall resist the officers in the execution of this Act, seems very severe and no way adequate to the offence, (iv.) The clause directing the Treasurer to pay for all sloops or boats which shall be lost in putting this Act in force, the damage to be adjusted by two persons one chose by the Treasurer and the other by the owner, does not make any provision, for adjusting the damage, in case the parties so chosen do not agree. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 12. Nos. 60, 60 i.; and 153, 13. pp. 191–194.]
Dec. 25.
St. James's.
278. H.M. Commissions to Thomas Mathews to be second Lieutenant, and to Thomas Ockold to be third Lieutenant of the Independant Company of Foot in the Bahama Islands. [C.O. 324, 33. p. 117.]
Dec. 25.279. Petty expences of the Board of Trade, postage, stationery etc. from Michaelmas to Christmas, 1717. 4 pp. [C.O. 388, 77. Nos. 40, 42, 44.]
Dec. 27.
Admty. Office.
280. Mr. Burchett to Mr. Popple. My Lords Commissrs. of the Admiralty having received a letter from Mr. Nicholas Coleman dated at Jamaica 20th March 1716/17, by which he complains that the present Govr. hath taken from him the keys of H.M. Naval Storehouse there, send you enclosed letter and agreement made, by direction of the then Board of Admiralty, with Mr. Coleman, for repairing the storehouse, and desire the Lords Commissrs. of Trade and Plantations to send directions to the Governor, not only to cause the key of the storehouse, but the storehouse itself to be put into his possession etc. Signed, J. Burchett. Endorsed, Recd. 27th, Read 31st Dec., 1717. 1 p. Enclosed,
280. i. Extract of letter from Capt. Balchen, H.M.S. Diamond, to Mr. Burchett, 4th May, 1716. Encloses following etc. 1 p.
280. ii. Copy of agreement made between Capt. Balchen and Mr. Coleman. The Naval Storehouse at Kingston is left in Mr. Coleman's hands for repairs, etc. 26th Feb., 1715. Signed, John Balchen, Nicho. Coleman. 2 pp. [C.O. 137, 12. Nos. 105, 105 i., ii.; and (without enclosures) 138, 16. p. 44.]
Dec. 28.281. Mr. Attorney General to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Reply to No. 263. I have considered of an Act of Virginia prohibiting the unlawfull assembling of Quakers, pass'd in 1663; Whereby the assembling of Quakers for religious worship is prohibited, for the first offence each Quaker is to forfeit 200lb. of tobacco, for the second offence 500lb., for the third, to be banisht that Colony to such place as the Governour and Council shall appoint: And there is a penalty laid on masters of ships bringing Quakers to reside there, unless exported from England shall appoint: And there is a penalty laid on masters of ships bringing Quakers to reside there, unless exported from England by vertue of the Act hereinafter mentioned, and the said masters are enjoyned to carry them away again, with other penalties; the intent thereof seeming to be that no Quaker should live in Virginia. Which Act was drawn and pass't there according to an Act pass'd in England in the 13th—14th years of King Charles II for preventing mischeifs and dangers that may arise by certain persons called Quakers etc.: from the penalties of which Act in England, the Quakers being freed by the Act of the first year of King William and Queen Mary etc., I have no objection agt. H.M. giving the same liberty to Quakers in the plantations as hath been given to those in England, which may be done either by repealing the Virginia Act, if not already confirmed, or in regard the law was made so long since, and it may be necessary to oblidge them to make declarations instead of oaths, by directing the Assembly of Virginia to repeal the same and enact a new law. And I have also considered of the Act concerning foreign debts. Whereby it is declared, that no debt whatsoever is pleasdable agt. any inhabitant, but for goods imported into that country, the meaning whereof, is, that persons indebted in England may remove themselves into Virginia, and have the priviledge there not to be sued for those debts, which will be a convenience for the inhabitants of that Colony but will be a great means to defraud the people of England of their just debts. Wherefore I am of opinion, that law is not proper to be confirmed by H.M. but to be rejected. Signed, Edw. Northey. Endorsed, Recd. 30th Dec., 1717. Read 21st Jan., 1717/8. 2 pp. Enclosed,
281. i. Copy of Act of Virginia, 1663, prohibiting the unlawful assembling of Quakers. 5 pp.
281. ii. Copy of Act of Virginia, 1663, concerning foreign debts. ½ p. [C.O. 5, 1318. Nos. 42, 42 i., ii.; and (without enclosures) 5, 1365. pp. 36–39.]
Dec. 30.
Whitehall.
282. Mr. Popple to Sr. N. Lawes. The Council of Trade and Plantations desire an account of what you know concerning the affair of the Naval Storehouse at Jamaica (v. 27th Dec.) [C.O. 138, 16. p. 45.]
Dec. 30.
Portsmouth.
283. Mr. Bridger to Mr. Popple. I find there has been a great distruction in H.M. woods in my absence, perticularly about Exeter, where out of 70 trees marked there is but one remaines, this was done during the time of one George Vaughan was Leift. Governr., who put out those persons I had deputed, and put in creatures of his own, wch. suffered anything to be done as would please the people, for as long as there are New England persons Governrs. the King must not expect any justice as to the woods, for all the people on the frontiers depend on the woods for their lively hood and say the King has no woods here, and they will cut what and where they please as long as the Charters good. I have deputised seven persons well knowing in the woods and people of good repute, but cannot give them any reward so what may be expected from them I humbly submitt to their Lordshipps but I shall see that they do there duty, as far as lies in me, there are two persons now wanting in the Council and if their Lordships think me a proper person to fill one of these places it would give me a litle more power in this Province and more respect. Capt. Gerrish is dead, and Capt. Wentworth made Lieut. Governor etc. The circuit of my survey here is 78 miles, from Almsbury to Sacco, etc. P.S.—I humbly aske pardon for this scrawl but the weather is so very cold I cannot write three words before the ink freezes. George Vaughan is coming to England to turn us all out that belongs to H.M. and to get any of our places etc. List of his 7 deputies. Signed, J. Bridger. Endorsed, Recd. 27th Feb., Read 4th March, 1717/18;. Torn. 2¼ pp. [C.O. 5, 866. No. 140; and 5, 915. pp. 90–93.]
Dec. 31.
284. James Smith to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Appointed Secretary of New Jersey in 1715 by H.M. Letters Patent, upon his arrival there petitioner found that by some Acts of the late Assembly, the fees and profits of that Office were so reduced, that it was not possible for any one to subsist on them. These Acts were made on purpose for the punishment of Jeremiah Bass, at that time Secretary, and guilty of many ill practises in the said Office. The Governour was induced to assent to them upon the repeated assurances of the Assembly that they would repeal them whenever another Secretary should be sent over. That Assembly being dissolved, by the death of the late Queen, nothing was to be expected in favour of the officers of the Crown, from the next Assembly, severall of the Members haveing given out, that they had people enough of their own to execute the said office, and if the King wou'd send over officers they wou'd take care to make it not worth their while. With the Governour's approbation, prays their Lordships to take the matter into their consideration. Signed, James Smith. Endorsed, Recd. 31st Dec., 1717. Read 27th Jan., 1717/18; 1 p. [C.O. 5, 971. No. 68.]
[1717.]285. List of reports from the Secretary at Warr etc. relating to Placentia and Annapolis Royal. 1715–20th Feb., 1717. 1½ pp. [C.O. 5, 4. No. 16.]
[1717.]286. Memorial from Sundry Merchants to Mr. Secretary Addison. Recommend Capt. Woodes Rogers, "who has made very advantagious proposals for effectually settling and securing" the Bahama Islands etc. Signed, Sam. Buck, Elias Pearse, Rob. Heysham, Sam. Shepheard, Alex. Cairnes, John Meriwether, Robert Chester and 28 others. Without date. 1 p. [C.O. 23, 12. No. 75.]
1717.287. Governor Woodes Rogers to the King. Asks for despatch of guns and ammunition for the Bahamas, and that the Independent Company intended for the garrison may be placed upon the establishment. Offers to victual them at 6d. per head per diem for the first year with provisions from the Plantations. etc. Estimate of charge to the Crown. Signed, Woodes Rogers. 1½ pp. [C.O. 253, 1. No. 2.]
[? 1717.]
King's Street. Golden Square.
288. Mrs. Mary Hemsley, of Maryland, to the King. Governor Hart, promoted to that station in 1714, by the interest of the late Duke of Ormond, has during his administration shew'd great favour to the Papists and Jacobites, and discouraged your Majesty's Royal subjects. There are frequent seditious healths drank, and Mr. Hart has discountenanc'd the discoverers, tho' of the greatest rank in the Country. Upon your Majesty's last Birthday, Mr. Hart made an entertainment, where Papists and Non Jurors, were chiefly respected, and tho' the King's health was drank, yet most omitted your Majesty's name. Through these encouragements, on the 10th of June last, being the Pretender's Birthday, the gunns were fired in the publick seat of Government, the Pretender's health drank, by the name of King James the Third. And great pains taken to influence the people they had better be under a Popish, than Presbiterian Governmt. So that we have the greatest occasion of a Gentleman that is known to be well affected to your Majesty, etc. Signed, Mary Hemsley. No date. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 720. No.26.]
[? 1717.]289. Thomas Macnemara of Annapolis, Maryland, to the King. Prays for the recall etc. of Governor Hart, he having in May, 1715, in partnership with some of the principal inhabitants, imported in a vessel belonging to him and others wines sugar, etc. from Lisbon, contrary to the Acts of Parliament, and so farr awed or influenced the Custom Officers, that they required no entry to be made of the said goods. Information was given to the Attorney and Advocate General, but he, being appointed by Hart, refused to prosecute him, etc. Signed, Tho. Macnemara. No date. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 720. No. 15.]
1717–1719.290. Naval Officer's Returns, S. Carolina. [C.O. 5, 508.]