America and West Indies
July 1718, 1-10

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Institute of Historical Research

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Cecil Headlam (editor)

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1930

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287-305

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'America and West Indies: July 1718, 1-10', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 30: 1717-1718 (1930), pp. 287-305. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=74042 Date accessed: 23 October 2014.


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Contents

July 1718, 1-10

July 1.
Whitehall.
580. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Craggs. We have this morning receiv'd a lr. from Colo. Bennet, dated 31st May last, relating to the increase of pirates in those parts and informing us that sevl. who had surrendered are gone out again because the Govrs. were not impowerd to pardon them, and giving us an accot. of the weak condition of the Bermuda Islands. Tho' we are apt to beleive from this letter you will receive the like information, yet as this is a matter of such great importance to the Trade and Navigation of this Kingdom and to the security of the Plants., we think our selves obliged to transmit you a copy of the said lr., with our opinion that the Commissions not only for trying but for pardoning the pirates also be immediately dispatched as we proposed by our former letters to you on this subject. You will perceive by ye enclosed that some of the pirates who have surrendred had committed acts of piracy since the time prefixed for their surrender by H.M. Proclamation, and therefore we should be glad to receive H.M. Orders in this particular for the better conduct of all Governors in such cases as may deserve compassion. [C.O. 38, 7. pp. 343, 344.]
July 1.581. Mr. West to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I have no objection to the Act of Antigua to enable Arthur Freeman etc., there being in the sd. Act all the clauses for the saveing the rights of ye. Crown as are requisite in a private Act etc. Signed, Richd. West. Endorsed, Recd. 2nd, Read 11th July, 1718. ¾ p. [C.O. 152, 12. No. 103; and 153, 13. p. 346.].
July 1.
Whitehall.
582. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Craggs. Enclose letters received from Governor Hamilton relating to the Danes at St. Johns and the Spaniards at Crab Island (v. April 10th), "that H.M. pleasure thereon may be signified by the first opportunity to Genl. Hamilton, who has done already on that occasion as much as he is warranted to do by his Instructions." (Art. 99 and 106 enclosed). Wee think it proper to observe to you, that this Board did, by a Representation to H.M. of 9th Aug., 1717, fully set forth H.M. right of sovereignty to the Virgin Islands in answer to a Memorial presented by the Danish Envoy, and that it has been the constant opinion of this Board that the settlement of foreigners on any of those Islands may prove of ill consequence to the neighbouring Islands inhabited by H.M. subjects. Autograph signatures. 1¾ pp. Enclosed,
582. i.–viii. Copies of enclosures, C.S.P., April 10th, Nos. i.–iii., Nos. 526 i–v.
582. ix. Copy of Governor Hamilton's Instructions, Articles 99 and 106, not to permit foreigners to settle on the Virgin Islands etc. [C.O. 314, 1. Nos. 2, 2 i.–ix.; and (without enclosures) 153, 13. pp. 338, 340.]
July 1.
Kensington.
583. Order of King in Council. Appointing John Gamble to the Council of Antigua (v. 25th June). Signed, Robert Hales. Endorsed, Recd., Read 24th July, 1718. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 12. No. 107.]
July 1.
Kensington.
584. Order of King in Council. Repealing Act of Antigua to prevent the increase of Papists etc. Signed and endorsed as preceding. 1¼ pp. [C.O. 152, 12. No. 108.]
July 1.
Kensington.
585. Order of King in Council. Confirming Act of Nevis for the good government of negroes etc. Signed and endorsed as preceding. 1½ pp. [C.O. 152, 12. No. 109.]
[July 1.]586. Joshua Gee, one of the mortgagees concern'd for the Province of Pensilvania in behalf of the Proprietor and the rest of the mortgagees, to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Reply to anonymous letters of 26th and 28th April. (i.) The laws complain'd off to have been enacted about six years agoe, were at least a great part of them made within this three years. The Lords of Trade cannot take it amisse if some of those laws have lain neglected longer than ordinary considering that the Proprietor by his distemper is rendred incapable of businesse. The mortgagees were in a manner perfect strangers to these affairs those laws not passing thro' their hands etc. Respondent will take care the said laws shall be transmitted to the Lords of Trade with reasons upon which they are founded etc. (ii.) The Assembly have done nothing more in relation to the fines save only appropriating them towards the support of Government etc. If the Lords of Trade shall find reason upon a perusall of those laws to be of opinion that the Assembly have unadvisedly enacted contrary to the Proprietor's agreement, they can easily apply a negative and thereby hinder the agreemt. from being broke through. It being both the desire and interest as well of the said Proprietor as of the said Mortgagees to preserve that agreemt. intire. It is not true that either the power or profitt of licensing publick houses is taken away from the Govt., but he may as formerly grant licenses to such persons as are recommended by the Justices of the Peace, and receives to his own use the accustomed proffits, etc. Signed, Joshua Gee. Endorsed, Recd. 1st, Read 4th July, 1718. 6 pp. [C.O. 5, 1265. No. 104.]
July 1.
Kensington.
587. Order of King in Council. Referring report of the Council of Trade and Plantations upon Sir Robert Montgomery's proposall (v. 9th April), to the Lords of the Committee of the Privy Council for their report thereupon. Signed, Robert Hales. Endorsed, Recd., Read 24th July, 1718. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1265. No. 105; and (signed Edward Southwell, and enclosing duplicates of 9th April. 4 pp.) 5, 383. Nos. 2, 2 i.]
July 1.
Virginia.
588. Lt. Governor Sportswood to Governor the Earl of Orkney. Refers to differences with the Council etc. Continues:—The success these men have had, by their further underhand dealings to possess your Lordship with a belief of my haughty and implacable temper, induces me to send so particular a relation of the steps made to a reconciliation (enclosed). But I have little hopes of compassing the same while the party looks upon themselves to be so formidable. They know that they have now lodg'd wholly in their hands that power which Absalom wanted for effectually securing the people in his interests, when he long'd to be the Judge of every man's cause. They have Mr. Blair for a staunch Achitophel in all conspiracies against Governors who will take upon him the whole drudgery of forming their letters, memorials etc. Nay and they know he will not be overscrupulous of swearing to them. They boast that by his influence they shall keep your Lordships from acting strenuously in my behalf while they are confident Mr. Byrd will leave no stone unturn'd to prejudice me. But in short the main obstacle to an accommodation is this; These Councillors in their anger about the Oyer and Terminer Courts have leagu'd themselves with all the turbulent opposers of Government whom they observ'd to have interest with the populace to be elected for Burgesses, and they cannot now accept of a reconciliation with me, without a breach of their union with them. Thus my Lord I am come to be divested of the Council H.M. had given me etc., who to gratify their spleen do openly side with the most notorious opponents of the King's prerogative and now continually cabal with those very men of whom they us'd to give vile characters, and whom they formerly advis'd me to remove from all places of trust for their evil behaviour. It was surprizing to see how barefacedly these Councillors proceeded in their extravagant measures; Ludwell's house (wch. is close in sight of mine) was the common rendezvous of the disaffected Burgesses, and the Commissary continually in their consultations, and it was remark'd that after a grand meeting there, many scurrilous and reflecting speeches were next day made in the lower House. Nor has any member shewn himself more violent against me than the Commissaries own brother, whose Billingsgate expressions with regard to me on several occasions I shall not offend your Lordships ears with etc. Refers to enclosures etc. Continues:— Here is a powerful knot of relations in the Council, who by their possession of the Judicature have gain'd a mighty influence over the Legislature, and the people begin to strive rather for their good graces than for those of a Governor, and if they obtain another victory in the turning out a third Governor, the country will be persuaded that they hold their places for life and the Governor his only during their pleasure. And such a notion will make their party so formidable that all men here, even the Govt. himself must truckle to them and not dare to lay before the Ministry at home the truth of occurrences or the real state of his Government, if there be ought in the account that touches one of this patent family, who have often been compar'd to a nest of wasps in this particular, that if you but offend one of them you immediately draw the whole swarm about your ears. Eight years experience has taught me to know the men, and I do now in my conscience declare that I take them to be false to the interest of the Crown, and very much disaffected to that of Great Britain. And as I am sufficiently convinc'd that there is nothing they will boggle at to prejudice the man who will not concur in the measures they happen to be bent upon, so I firmly believe that they wou'd not stick to overturn the Government by such another Rebellion as Bacon's to get rid of a Governor who may have penetration and resolution enough to discover and withstand their sinister designs: And some people who were witness to their management of the mob on the last Birthday apprehended they were then going to begin such a sort of work. This growing mischief may as yet easily receive a check, by removing from Council three or four of the most turbulent spirits (vizt. Blair, Ludwell, Smith and Byrd) and putting in their rooms others of more peaceable and loyal principles (vizt. Peter Beverley, Cole Diggs, John Robinson and Edward Hill). Nor is there wanting at this juncture a just pretence for so doing, seeing I am become destitute of a Council that I may confide in, by the defection of eight or nine of the present Board, who are turn'd Councillors, and one of them constituted Agent to the House of Burgesses. Such a proceeding effectually reduc'd the Government of New York to peace and quietness and enabled Mr. Hunter to bring his people into reasonable measures; And I hope Virginia's Governor is not always to be sacrific'd right or wrong to the humour of one Family, but that the Ministry will seriously reflect on the danger of suffering in this remote part of H.M. Dominions, a Juncto of Relations to grow to that height of power as to bear an uncontroulable sway over both Govr. and people here, etc. Signed, A. Spotswood. Endorsed, Recd. 24th March, Read 8th April, 1719. Copy. 4½ pp. Enclosed,
588. i. A narrative of the steps and proposals made during the Session of Assembly for accommodating our differences. April 24th. Lt. Governor Spotswood describes negotiations with Mr. Robertson and Col. Harrison towards a reconciliation between himself and the Council. He proposed as the only terms that they should behave themselves for the furture with decent good manners towards himself as Governor, and offered to constitute no other Judges of Oyer and Terminer than the members of Council, provided they would acknowledge the King could grant a power to make other Judges to those Courts exclusive of them, and would declare they acquiesced in the determination of the Lords of Trade, and the opinion of the Attorney General, and that then he would withhold his replies exposing them and Mr. Byrd. The Council, after some delay, submitted proposals for the Governor to subscribe acknowledging himself to have been in the wrong, to lay aside all attempts of innovations on the Constitution, to forbear all terms of reproach in common conversation etc. After further futile negotiations through Col. Page, the Governor invited the Council to his house to discuss a bowl of arrack punch, and endeavoured to pledge them to peace and union, but without result etc. Signed, A.S. Endorsed, Recd. from the E. of Orkney, 24th March, Read 8th April, 1719. 13½ pp.
588. ii. (a) Memorandum delivered by Col. Harrison to Lt. Governor Spots wood, 9th May, 1718. I have discoursed the Gentlemen of the Council as to a reconciliation etc., but find them so startled at the Governor's conduct in the meantime, particularly at the meeting of the Governors of the Colledge and likewise at his exposing the late officers of the Revenue in Council etc., that they propose the following terms for a lasting friendship. (i.) That all attempts at innovation on the Constitution may be laid aside, and their privileges preserved, (ii.) all terms of reproach be forborn, (iii.) all former misunderstandings laid aside, and mutual letters to the Council of Trade written to that purpose, (iv.) these terms to be given in writing.
(b) Extracts from the Governor's Speach and the reply of the Burgesses refusing to make him any allowance for his journeys of 5020 miles on the country's service. 16th May, 1718. Same endorsement. 3¾ pp. [C.O. 5, 1318. Nos. 57, 57 i., ii.]
July 1.
Kensington.
589. Order of King in Council. Approving of Representation of Feb. 9th, and ordering warrants to be prepared for passing under the Great Seal Commissions empowering the Governors of Plantations to pardon all such pirates as shall have surrendred themselves according to the Proclamation in that behalf etc. Signed, Robert Hales. Endorsed, Recd., Read 24th July, 1718. 1¼ pp. [C.O. 323, 7. No. 130; and 324, 10. pp. 201, 202.]
July 1.
Kensington.
590. Order of King in Council. Referring report of Council of Trade and Plantations (April 9) upon the proposal of Sir R. Montgomery to the Committee of the Privy Council for their report. Signed, Edward Southwell. 4 pp. Enclosed,
590. i. Copy of No. 493. [C.O. 5, 383. Nos. 2, 2 i.]
July 3.
Whitehall.
591. Mr. Secretary Craggs to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses following for their report. Signed, J. Craggs. Endorsed, Recd. 7th, Read 8th July, 1718. ¾ p. Enclosed,
591. i. M. Chammorel, Secretary of the French Embassy, to the King. March 1½, 1717/18. Prays that orders may be sent to the Governor and Council of Jamaica to see that justice be done to M. Bonfils etc. Signed, Chammorel. Copy. French. 1 p.
591. ii. Memorial of Messrs. Bonfils et Frers, French merchants of La Rochelle. Their ship L'aimable Marie, Capt. Escoubet, sailed from La Rochelle 23rd Oct., 1714, for Cuba. After having unloaded part of her cargo at St. Dominique, she was seized by 5 sloops from Jamaica, in the port of Bayouda near the Havanna, where she had put in for wood and water. The English captains (Henry Jennings, Saml. Tiddell or Lydell, James Carnagy, Ashwood or Ashworth, and Leigh) held a commission from Governor Lord A. Hamilton, of 21st Nov., to salve among the wrecks of the Flotilla in the Gulf of Mexico. They compelled Capt. Escoubet to sign a letter to Governor Hamilton to the effect that they had taken the ship under agreement with him to pay him a certain sum for the time they kept her. They took her to the island of Providence. Her cargo was worth 250,000 livres tournois. They divided 30,000 piastres amongst themselves and the remainder of the cargo they put aboard the sloop Dauphin, which they sent with the ship to Port Royal, Jamaica. Governor Hamilton, upon information given by an officer of the French ship, sent 4 soldiers on board the sloop to guard the cargo, but the following night several masked men overpowered the soldiers and carried off all the merchandize. Two of these persons having been discovered and put in prison gave bond for £10,000 sterl. by order of the Council of Jamaica, which also ordered the ship to be restored to the proprietors in the state it was after having been completely plundered. It was sold by public auction for 4000 livres tournois, tho it cost at leaving La Rochelle 50,000. They also ordered the restitution of 1400 ounces of silver proved to have been part of her cargo. By a Minute of 22nd Sept., 1716, the Council declared that they could do no more without H.M. express directions to prosecute the sureties of the 5 captains. The Due d'Orleans has instructed us to refer to the Minister of France who is to request H.M. to give orders accordingly, and for the prosection of Daniel Axtell, Gaspard Ashwood Bendish and John Warner the prisoners referred to above, and of all others found gulity hereafter. Signed, Bonfils. Copy. French. 4½ pp. [C.O. 137, 13. Nos. 9, 9 i., ii.; and (without enclosures) 138, 16. p. 115.]
[July 3.]592. Jeremy Dummer to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Being inform'd that H.M. has appointed a new Surveyor of the woods of North America, and that the gentleman does not intend to execute his commission in person; I humble submit it to your Lordpps. whether it would not be for H.M. service that the Governour of New England be charg'd with the care of the King's woods. In what manner this is to be done, whether by making the Governour Controller over the Surveyour and his Deputy, or Deputies, or in any other way, your Lordpps. are the best judges. Signed, Jer. Dummer. Endorsed, Recd. 3rd, Read 4th July, 1718. ½ p. [C.O. 5, 866. No. 169; and 5, 915. pp. 158, 159.]
July 3.593. Mr. Secretary Craggs to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses following reply to Representation of Aug. 9th, 1717. "As to the settlement of the Danes on the Island of St. John" (v. 10th April, 6th May, 1st July), "H.M. pleasure is, that your Lops, should take the state of that matter into your consideration, and report what is proper for H.M. to do therein." Signed, J. Craggs. Endorsed, Recd., Read 4th July, 1718. 1 p. Enclosed,
593. i. Memorial by Baron de Sohlenthal, the Danish Envoy, in reply to the Representation of the Council of Trade and Plantations of 9th Aug., 1717, relating to the Island of St. Thomas and other little islands about it, communicated by Mr. Secretary Addison. London, 24th March, 1718. (i.) The order given Sept. 23rd, 1672, to Governor Stapleton "that you should exercise every mark of friendship towards all the inhabitants of the said Island of St. Thomas, and all other the subjects of the King of Denmark in the West Indies" must necessarily apply to the subjects of his Danish Majesty in the other Islands, since if one had meant thereby the Danish subjects who might be met with at sea, as the abovementioned representation (Aug. 9th, 1717) explains it, it would have been necessary to say, the subjects who trade in the West Indies, because in the said Order there is no mention or reservation made touching the pretentions which the English since that time have begun to form to the said Islands belonging to the Crown of Denmark, as do those of St. John and Crab. (ii.) There is great reason to believe that these pretentions were only formed in the time of Col. Stapleton, who one sees clearly was hostile to the Governor of St. Thomas, upon the false representations he made, whether through hatred or false reports. And as the Danish Company of the West Indies has never had the least knowledge of what the said Stapleton advanced against the Governor of St. Thomas, as if he were a bad neighbour and protected pirates, one can the less credit it, since the Company has not failed always to give the necessary orders to its servants to observe exactly the Conventions and Neutrality, and not to meddle with any forbidden trade, so that if this Governor had dared to trade with pirates, he would have undergone severe punishment, as acting contrary to the Law of Nations and against the order of the Company, which has never designed to do anything to the prejudice of the English Nation, whence it is rather to be presumed, that if anything occurred, it was practised by others, under the Danish name, and imputed to the Colonies of this Nation by their enemies. (iii.) That which is drawn from the report made to His Britannic Majesty in the month of May, 1688, touching the right of sovereignty (droit de primauté) of the King of Great Britain over Crab Island as well as over the other Virgin or Caribbee Islands, cannot be alleged against the Crown of Denmark, which took possession of them first, as is clearly proved by the Commissions found there [qui y ont été trouvées] several years before, and by the opposition made from time to time against those who wished to establish themselves there, as appears by the protest of the Governor Adolph Esmit against Abraham Howel, who in the time of the Government of Colonel Stapleton wished to possess himself of it, mentioned in another against William Pellet who to the same end had landed troops there (v. encl. ii.). There is also a protest made 2nd Oct., 1698, against Sir Robert Pinckerton, the Scottish Commander, who wished to seize Crab Island, and the 6th of the same month the Governor Jean Laurent and Commander Claude Hansen caused a similar protest to be presented to the ship of the Commander of the Squadron in the road of the said Island (v. encl. iii., iv.) There is similarly a letter from Admiral Sir Benbow written in 1699 to the Governor Jean Laurent [v. encl. v.; cf. Cal C.S.P. 1699, No. 907]. And after the signing of the said protests, the English and Scotch withdrew from this Island, and have not there undertaken any enterprise since that time, having then themselves avowed, that these Islands were of so little importance, that it was not worth while to people them, for a Nation which possesses such vast and fertile lands in America as they do. All the abovesaid reasons are sufficient to show the right of sovereignty of His Danish Majesty over the Islands of St. John and Crab, as well as over St. Thomas, and consequently it is by so much the less justifiable that, as one learns by letters of last year, the English have not only again landed on Crab Island, but also proceed to cut wood and begin to build houses there. Therefore the undersigned is charged by the King his Master, to insist in the strongest terms, that those who have taken possession of Crab Island, should quit it immediately, that the orders given by his Britannic Majesty to the Governor of his Caribbee Islands to the prejudice of the prior right of His Danish Majesty should be revoked, and that the Danish subjects should be left in peaceable possession of the abovesaid Islands, upon which he very humbly begs to be given a prompt and favorable resolution. Signed, Le Baron de Sohlenthal. Copy. French. 4¼ pp.
593. ii. (a) Governor Esmit to [? William Pellet] Christiansfort, St. Thomas, 20th May, 1688. H.M. the King of Denmark and Norway my Sovereign Lord having charged me with his orders, as soon as I should have arrived safely in America, to take every care to put myself in possession of Crab Island, called Bicque on the maps, belonging to H.M., and to put a Commander there in his name and on his behalf, who should not only maintain and defend the Commission and flag of H.M. established and planted there in 1682, I therefore placed a Captain there with his men, when Commander Howel wished to take possession of it at the time of the government of Genl. Stapleton, and entered a protest at the same time against the said Howel. And since that time the said Genl. Stapleton has left the said Bicque or Crab Island undisturbed. At the present time H.M. has sent here, with me, one of his Admirals, to examine and visit the said Island, and to people it, who is already on the way with some people to put himself in possession thereof. But as I learn that you, Monsr. Guillaume Pellit, have orders to take possession of the said Island, and to people it, which is contrary to the orders and command of H.M. my very august King, and contrary to the law of all the world, I perceive myself obliged to follow the orders with which H.M. has honoured me, and forbid you, Monsr. Guillaume Pellit, in the name and on behalf of H.M. the King of Denmark and Norway, to take possession of the said Crab Island, or to settle people there, or to make any pretentions thereto, of whatsoever sort or kind. And in case you disobey, I protest by virtue and authority, in the name and on behalf of his Danish Majesty, against you, Guillaume Pellit, and against those who have authorised you or given you order to seize yourself of the said Crab Island, and declare that you will be held responsible for all the damages and prejudices which may thereby arise, now and in the prejudices which may thereby arise, now and in the future etc. Signed, A. Esmit. Copy. French. 1½ pp.
593. ii. (b) Governor Jean Laurent and J. von Holten to Sir [Capt.] Robert Pinckert(h)on. (v. C.S.P. 1699. No. 579. xv.) Christiansfort, St. Thomas. 2nd Oct., 1698. Hearing that you have been sent with ships now before our port to seize Crab Island, protest in similar terms to preceding. Signed, Jean Laurent, J. von Holten. Copy. French. 1¼ pp.
593. iii. C[laude] Hanson to the Commander in Chief [of the Scottish Expedition]. At the post of Cronenburg on Crab Island. 6th Oct., 1698. Protests, in similar terms to above, against threatened seizure of Crab Island. Signed, C. Hanson. Copy. French. 1 p.
593. iv. (a) Rear-Admiral Benbow to Governor Laurent. H.M.S. Gloucester, in the harbour of St. Thomas, 21st Oct., 1699. (v. C.S.P. 1699. No. 907.) The unusual sight of the flag of his Britannic Majesty in your harbour will appear strange to you, but this will apprise you of the reason . . . . . as also to know by what authority you have flown the flag of his Danish Majesty on Crab Island for some time, this Island belonging to the King my master. Signed, Benbow. Copy. French. ½ p.
(b) Governor Jean Laurent to Rear Admiral Benbow. Christiansfort, St. Thomas. 21st Oct., 1699. Extract of reply to preceding. As to Crab Island, I am extremely astonished that you now write on such a subject, it being known that the said Island belongs to the King my Sovereign and Lord, and that long before me there was a Commission from my Master, and his flag was flown there. Copy. French. ½ p. [C.O. 152, 12. Nos. 101, 101 i.–iv.; and (without enclosures) 153, 13. pp. 340, 341.]
July 3.
Whitehall.
594. Mr. Secretary Craggs to the Council of Trade and Plantation. Enquires to which of H.M. Governors the commissions for pardoning pirates should be sent. These commissions "are ordered to be sent before those for trying pirates, which latter are to remain on this side till further orders." Signed, J. Craggs. Endorsed, Recd. 3rd, Read 4th July, 1718. 1 p. [C.O. 323, 7. No. 128; and 324, 10. pp. 197, 198.]
July 4.
Whitehall.
595. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Craggs. Reply to preceding. We think the Commissions for pardoning ought to be to the same persons as those for trying of pirates etc. [C.O. 324, 10. p. 199.]
July 4.
Tofts.
596. Mr. Barrington to Mr. Popple. Returns thanks for minuting Mr. Yeamans for the next vacancy etc. v. 23rd June. Signed, J. Barrington. Endorsed, Recd. 7th, Read 8th July, 1718. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 12. No. 102.]
July 4.
Whitehall.
597. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Recommend John Hugg for the Council of N. Jersey. (v. May 3.) [C.O. 5, 995. pp. 443, 444.]
July 4.
Whitehall.
598. Council of Trade and Plantations to Lt. Governor Spotswood. Acknowledge letter of 27th Feb. We take notice of what you write in relation to the 5th and 6th Articles of the Treaty of Neutrality, and lest you shou'd misunderstand what we wrote you the 16th of May, 1717, we think it necessary to observe, that by the 1st clause of the Act of Navigation mention'd in the 3rd Art. of your Instructions relating to the Acts of Trade, no foreign ships are to be allow'd to trade into H.M. Plantations. But we are of opinion that British ships cannot be condemn'd nor their lading confiscated only for trading to or from foreign Plantations, provided that trade be not carried on in any manner contrary to the laws of this Kingdom or of Virginia: whereby the ships or lading might be lyable to be confiscated. However you will do well to observe your last orders so far as to discourage this way of trading which is contrary to the Treaties of Peace, thô not contrary to our laws. [C.O. 5, 1365. pp. 62, 63.]
July 7.
Whitehall.
599. Bryan Wheelock to Richard West. In the Secretary's absence desires his opinion upon two Acts of New Hampshire, passed in 1714, (i.) for the relief of idiots, (ii.) providing for posthumous children. [C.O. 5, 915. p. 159.]
July 7.
New York.
600. Governor Hunter to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Abstract. Acknowledge letters, will transmit accounts required by next conveyances, and instruct Naval Officers to send accounts of imports from Medera and the Western Islands etc. Mr. Beresford's representation is very just, and no more than he himself laid before the Secretary of State on learning of M. Crozat's patent. The French have forts and settlements in many places on the Messasipi and on the Lakes, and claim all the country and the trade of it as theirs, if these settlements prosper the very being of the Brittish Plantations will become precarious, for by means of these settlements they acquire the dependances of these numerous Indian nations, and though the French may be at peace with us in appearance, these Indians by the instigation of their traders may be prevail'd upon to make incursions on the frontiers of the English settlements, which being all uncovered will be an easy prey, and after an attempt of that kind no planter will benture to sit down without the reach of assistance, or defence, and so by degrees these Colonys may come to be unpeopled etc. Does not know upon what right the French found their claim. As a remedy, can only suggest our extending our frontiers, and augmenting our force and garisons, as he has already amply proposed etc. In reply to 3rd Feb., states case of acts passed by Lt. Gov. Ingoldsby. Most of them being now expired or repealed, they are no longer of any consequence etc. In answer to 25th Feb., encloses copy of H.M. Order for building a fort, in compliance with which Col. Nicholson and he contracted for building a fort in the Mohocks' country for half the sum mentioned in their instructions, reserveing the other half for one to be built at Onondagaa, when the Indians should agree to it etc. Has constantly kept the fort in good repair etc. The currency has ever been at 8s. per ounce in New York and New England etc. On his arrival he published the Proclamation for the currency, but it had little effect. Now that the Assemblies are of better disposition, hopes to remedy this and other failures noted by the Board. The harvest being begun, he could not keep them together, but he communicated to them H.M. commands as to passing acts affecting the trade or shipping of Great Britain. Had he had any such instructions before, he would not have passed these acts, but in the former revenue acts there being the like duties, particularly on all dry goods from Europe, and in other Provinces tunnage, or powder money, and that tunnage being so low, and the people at a loss to find out funds for the support of Govt., a land tax being by the expences of unhappy expeditions impracticable and burthensome, he could not foresee any harm in passing such acts. Requests the Board to suspend the disapprobation of these acts until the Assembly has met in the Fall, when, judging by its present disposition, he hopes for success in everything the Board wishes. Sees no harm in disallowing the act for shortening law-suits, Mr. Attorney General's observations having been found by experience to be just. As to the act granting a supply etc., there was never any wine imported from Great britain and no duty was intended upon such, or upon any goods directly imported from Gt. Britain. This shall be made clear in an explanatory act. The duties laid on negroes imported from other Colonies were intended to encourage their own shipping and to discourage the importing of refuse and sickly negroes from other Colonies. The greater part of the Palatines remain upon the lands he purchased for them with his own money on Hudson's River, and earn a tolerable living, some are grown rich. But about 50 families removed, against orders, to lands which had been granted to other inhabitants etc. In compassion, he persuaded the Proprietors to offer them terms of long leases paying nothing for several years, and a very trifle after. The greatest part accepted, but one Wyser, the constant ringleader of all mischief amongst them, who is now gone for England, has formed a party who would come to no terms etc. These people might be usefully employed on the frontiers, if his plan for extending them is approved, but there must first be a fort to cover and to keep them in order, and this will require an augmentation of the forces. Quotes from his Commission to show that licences for whale-fishing were a perquisite of his Government. Nobody but Mr. Mulford disputed it, and he lost the case he brought. It is not worth £20 sterl. per annum, but he does not wish to be accused of giving up the rights of the Crown. Refers to papers sent to Mr. Philips. If men like Cox and Mulford, who were common disturbers of the publick peace and avowed obstructors of all settlement or support of Government, when they are called to account for crimes against the Government, shall find their account by flying from such prosecutions, and complaining at home, whoever governs in these parts must either hold the reins of Government very slack, and resolve to bear with daily repeated insults or with the intolerable drudgery of answering false and malicious accusations or frivolous complaints etc. He has in every step had a particular view to H.M. service, and in that has had the desired success etc. Describes procedure in granting of patents for lands. Set out, N.Y. Col. Docs. V., pp. 507–511. Signed, Ro. Hunter. Endorsed, Recd. 10th Sept., Read 1st Oct., 1718. Torn. 7½ pp. Enclosed,
600. i. Extract of H.M. Additional Instructions to Governor Hunter for building a chapel and fort for the Indians etc. 21st Feb., 1710/11. Same endorsement. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1051. Nos. 73, 73 i.; and (without enclosure) 5, 1124. pp. 38–50.]
July 7.
N. York.
601. Same to Same. By Hopkins I receiv'd the new seals, and with this your Losps. will receive the old one of this Province broke in Council according to H.M. commands; to-morrow I go to the Jerseys and when that of that Province is broke in Council there I shall transmitt it also, but this ship is upon her departure. I have also receiv'd H.M. letters nominating John Parker, Peter Tretwell and Jo. Wells of the Council for that Province. I beg the same favour for John Johnston, junr., in order to keep the equality Mr. Tretwell and Mr. Wells being of the Western division. Signed, Ro. Hunter. Endorsed, Recd. 10th Sept., Read 1st Oct., 1718. Holograph. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 1051. No. 74; and 5, 1124. p. 51.]
July 7.
N. York.
602. Same to Mr. Popple. Hopkins brought me yours and in it a great deal of comfort, finding by that, that I am not become indifferent to you as I like a suspicious fool or rather jealous friend, surmis'd in my last. I assure you that I want nothing but a conveyance to bring me to you, for to deale plainly with you, after the incouragement Mr. Mulford and some others have lately mett with from some great men, my stay on this side will be but uselesse to the publick and hurtfull to my self. I have no care about any consequences but in so far as they may affect my reputation, which I think I have taken sufficient care to vindicate by what I have sent inclos'd to Mr. Philips by this conveyance. If the voice of a whole Province is not judg'd of force sufficient to disprove the simple allegations of one craz'd old man, it will be in vain for me to endeavour any more at being pronounc'd innocent I must satisfy myself with being so. I beg leave to remark to you upon the objections made to our Acts of Revenue, that it will be a very hard task hereafter to find any fonds for that use, whilst by the clamours of merchants or those self interested every sort of duty may be constructed to affect the trade of Great Brittaine, in all or most other Provinces there is a tunnage or powder money, and that here is such a trifle that it can not seriously speaking be said to effect any trade. There is no duty on goods imported from Brittaine, though in all former Acts of Revenue in Coll. Fletcher, Ld. Bellomont and Ld. Cornbury's time there was two and a half pr. cent on all such, and is it not surprizeing that trade should so considerably increase under all these discouragements. In short considering that a land tax is impracticable a future revenue here, will be so, at least very difficult under these restrictions not so much by reason of them but of the constructions that the merchants here and there will put upon every duty whatsoever as affecting the trade of Great Brittaine and I'll affirm without assumeing too much to my self, if I do not accomplish it it will be a long time a doing come who will in my place. Mr. Philips hints to me that my affairs and intrests move heavily. I sensibly feel he has too much reason. My comfort is that I have deserv'd a better fate. I can not see how I can get over 'till next Spring because I am resolv'd to use my endeavours with the Assembly this fall to remedy what is excepted against in our several Acts. But a dissallowance of them would put all into confusion and ruine this flourishing Province. P.S.—The Act wch. Mr. Chetwind is concern'd about, had pass'd if I had not recd. your letter but I have stav'd it off for another session. Signed, Ro. Hunter. Endorsed, Recd. 10th Sept., Read 1st Oct., 1718. Holograph. 4 pp. [C.O. 5, 1051. No. 75; and 5, 1124. pp. 52–54.]
July 7.603. Extract of letter from Governor Hunter to Mr. Philips. Encloses Representation (No. iii. infra) in reply to Mr. Mulford. Continues:—Having received several letters from the Justices and others on Long Island, informing me, that there was a paper sent over by Mr. Mulford, handed about clandestinely for subscriptions, and that some were threatened, others hired, and others wheadled to set their hands to it; that particularly in one township they could get no hands, but a woman's, a madman's and a boy's; and all this managed by Richard Floyd, Mr. Mulford's Agent, a very troublesome man, I communicated all these advices to the Council, who advised, that orders should be immediately sent to the Justices of the Peace, to enquire into the affair, and after the paper; to put a stop to the proceeding, which might endanger the Peace of the Country, which I did accordingly. The Justices found that matter so, but the subscribers declared they were told the paper they signed was only a request about the whale fishing. They sent after it of their own accord, burned it, and signed enclosed address to me. The people have been perfectly easy and quiet ever since. God knows my heart, that I wish hurt to no man. And could I have devised any other method to keep that troublesome man from disturbing the Peace of the Country, I would have followed it. But if he meets with encouragement at home, whoever governs here will have a hard task etc. Signed, Ro. Hunter. Endorsed, Recd. (from Mr. Philips) 23rd Sept., Read 1st Oct., 1718. Copy. 3 pp. Enclosed,
603. i. Petition of Cornelius Conkling and other inhabitants of Suffolk County to Governor Hunter. Pray pardon for their error in signing an Address to H.M. Nov. 1717. We intended no accusation against your Excellency, but thereby chiefly to obtain of H.M. the whalefishing, free of paying the duty to the Crown etc. Signed, Cornelius Conkling, Mathias Burnet, Daniel Miller, Isaac Mulford, Tho. Mulford, William Edwards, Nat. Downing, John Mulford, Theodore Peirson, Robert Nevins, James Cooper, Theo. Howell, Isaac Halsey, Nat. Howell, Edmound Howell, Christopher Foster, Zebulun Howell, Richard Fowler, Abraham Halsey. Same endorsement. Copy. 1p.
603. ii. Address of several inhabitants of New York, especially of Nassau Island, to the King. Complain of the unequall numbers of Representatives and the disproportion of the quotas of taxes, in the counties; of the powers of the Court of Chancery; that they do not have the benefit of the Agent of the Province; and that their whales and oil have been seized, etc. No signatures. Copy. 4pp.
603. iii. Representation of the Council and Assembly of New York to the Lords of the Committee for hearing appeals from the Plantations. Reply to preceding and Aug. 28, 1717. The Counties of this Province are not all equal in territory, number or wealth of inhabitants, from whence proceeds the different taxations etc. Mr. Mulford's representation is unjust, because the number of representatives were not as he represents at the time the quotas of taxation were laid, the County of Orange having but one Representative, and not two as he says, and the County of Dutchess none, neither is this taxation to be charged to Colo. Hunter, or an effect of his putting Representatives on the Assembly, those taxations being made before his arrival etc. The true cause of these clamours was such an addition to the Representative(s) as gave a check to that spirit of opposition, that by Mulford's means too much for a time prevail'd and retarded the necessary support for the Government and payment of publick debts, which by that means has been happily effected, and this Province reduced to a state of tranquility unknown to past times, and but a little while since almost despair'd of. The additions then made and complain'd of have been agreable to the laws and practice of this Province, and were but three, one in the County of Orange and two in Dutches County, wch. are large countys and daily increasing in people, and by that addition were made but equal to the smallest county in the Province. An acknowledgement for the liberty of taking Royal fish was taken by the Governor's predecessors, as justly due to the Crown, and what the Governor without the imputation of departing from H.M. rights cou'd not give up, the methods us'd for recovery of this was a process in the ordinary course of law, in which Mr. Mulford was not debarr'd the making such a defence as he thought most conducive to his service. His accounts of the prosecution for his speech etc. are misrepresentations. Refer to Address of Assembly and Minutes of Council and Assembly (v. Nos. 317 xi., xii.). By the last it will appear how inclinable the Governor was to have stopped any further prosecution against him, had he himself not been averse to it etc. Their being a great arrear of quitt rents, we believe the Attorney Genl. took such measures as he judg'd would prove most effectual to obtain the payment of them, but we cannot find that Mr. Mulford met with a diff'rent treatment from others, or if he did the Govr. cannot be suppos'd to be interested in it, the Receiver General and Attorney General being solely concern'd. Whatever proceedings have been in the Supream Court against Mr. Mulford (of which we can find none) we submit to your Lordships, whether any complaint of that kind can affect the Governor, who doth not interpose in the judicial proceedings of that Court etc. We could wish all the parts of H.M. Dominions were as free from Jacobite partys as this remote corner of them are and always hath been; and we hope your Lops. are so well assured of the Governor's firm adherence to the interest of the present Government, that it will not be in the power of any complaints of that nature to render him suspected etc. His administration is free from tyranny or oppression, and we know of no grievances in the Province, wch. is in happier circumstances than ever in great measure owing to the just and mild administration of Brigr. Hunter. 2nd July, 1718. Signed, By order of the Council, Wm. Wiseman; of the Assembly, J. Ludlow. Same endorsement. Copy. 5½ pp. [C.O. 5, 1051. Nos. 76, 76 i.–iii.]
July 8.
Whitehall.
604. Mr. Secretary Craggs to the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty. Encloses, for their opinion thereupon, report of Council of Trade and Plantations upon Nova Scotia, 30th May. Signed, J. Craggs. 1p. [C.O. 217, 31. No. 17.]
July 8.
Whitehall.
605. Same to Board of Ordnance. As preceding. [C.O. 314, 1.No. 3.]
July 9.
Whitehall.
606. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Craggs. Report upon Memorial of M. Chammorel (July 3rd). Having perused the Minutes of ye Councill of Jamaica, whereby it appears that petitioners had made out their allegations, we humbly conceive that directions may be sent to the Governor of Jamaica, not only to prosecute the commanders and mariners of any ships or vessells concern'd in this capture, but also put the bonds given by the sureties in execution, whereby reparations may be made to ye sufferers.[C.O. 138, 16. pp. 116, 117.]
July 9.607. Richard West to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Report upon Act of New Hampshire, 1716, for making lands and tenements liable to payment of debts. I have perused ye Act to wch. it referrs, 8th William III., ye design of wch. Act I doe think to have been perfectly just and in case this Act had pursued ye intention of ye sd. Act I should have had no objection to its being passed into a law. But it is so unhapily worded that I cannot see that by any construction whatsoever it can effect ye end proposed by it. The end proposed by this Act is to make ye real estates of debtors lyable to ye paymt. of their personall debts which by ye former Act of King William was sufficiently provided for in case of ye debtors dying indebted in a greater summe yn. his personall estate was able to answer this Act proposes to provide for ye creditors security during ye life of ye debtor by compelling him to a mortgage of his lands to which end it is enacted that all creditors recovering judgemt. and ye debtor not satisfying ye same to ye acceptance or satisfaction of ye creditor shall have execution thereupon agt. ye lands of ye debtor and ye Sherriffe shall cause a parcell of ye debtor's lands to be set out (by the oath of three appraisers) sufficient to satisfy the creditors demands and shall thereof deliver possession and seizen to ye creditor which when recorded is enacted to be a good title to such creditor or creditors. My objection to this Act arises from the last words wch. in my opinion leaves ye creditor (tho perhaps contrary to ye intention of ye makers of the Act) in a worse condition yn. they found him. By the equity of redemption reserved it is manifest that ye intention of ye law makers could be only to create a reall security to ye creditor for his debt by way of mortgage wch. mortgage can be only for ye life of ye mortgagee they haveing forgott to insert after their enacting that ye returning of the aforesd. execution should be a good title to ye creditor that it should also extend to his heirs without wch. word it is certain no larger estate yn. for life can be created and wch. they therefore in ye sd. Act of K. William do very properly use. I must also observe yt. ye acceptance of such mortgage under this Act is a discharge of ye execution agt. ye debtor and his land and that ye estate for the life of the mortgagee being by this Act considered as a full satisfaction for any debt whatever it from thence follows that if any creditor should chance to die but ye next week after such acceptance of ye mortgage as aforesd. the debt is wholly extinguished and the heirs or exrs. etc. of such creditor would be absolutely barr'd from ye making use of any such remedy wch. by ye Common Law or by ye beforementioned Statute of King William they would otherwise be entituled to. I might mention other objections of less consequence. But I think what I have already taken notice of will be sufficient to justify my being of opinion that this Act is not proper to be passed into a Law etc. Signed, Richd. West. Endorsed, Recd. 9th, Read 11th July, 1718. 2pp. [C.O. 5, 867. No. 2.; and 5, 915. pp. 168–171.]
July 10.
Whitehall.
608. Mr. Popple to Mr. Burchett. Encloses extract of letter from Lt. Governor Bennett, 31st May, for the information of the Lords Commrs. of the Admiralty. [C.O. 38, 7. p. 345.]
July 10.609. [Stephen Duport to the Council of Trade and Plantations.] Some notes relating to Danish Settlement of St. Thomas. Endorsed, Recd., Read 16th July, 1718. French. ¾ p. [C.O. 152, 12. No. 105.]
July 10.
Whitehall.
610. Mr. Popple to Baron Bloombergh. The Council of Trade and Plantations desire you will please to give 'em what information you can of the Danish settlement on the Island of St. Thomas in America. [C.O. 153, 13. p. 342.]
July 10.
Whitehall.
611. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Enclose arguments for and against Act of Antegoa to prohibit the importation of French and other foreign sugars etc. Continue:—The reasons contained in the [Surveyor General's] letter [v. 12th April] appear to us to be such as may induce your Majesty not to approve of this Act. But besides those objections to the design of this Act we shou'd think ye same not fit to receive your Majesty's approbation by reason of sevl. clauses therein contain'd. By one it is enacted "that if any quantity (tho' never so small) of sugars or of any other of the commodity's prohibited by this act be landed in any part of the said Island of Antegua, the ship in which they are imported shall be forfeited upon the oath of one single evidence who is to be rewarded with the moyety of the forfeiture." Another enacts that "if any master of a vessel should put any such foreign goods as aforesd. from on board his own into any other vessel within any harbr. or anchoring place in or about the sd. Island he shall suffer 12 months imprisonment in the common gaol without bail or mainprize," and this likewise upon the oath of one single evidence. But there is another clause more extraordinary than these, whereby a skipper or master who shall order any person on board his vessel to resist any officer appointed by this Act to search, is to be adjudged guilty of felony. We beg leave to observe on this occasion, that tho' some Acts have lately been pass'd in others of your Majty's. Islands for discouraging the importation of French and other foreign sugars, particularly one in Barbado's which your Majesty has been pleased to confirm; Yet none of those Acts have extended to an absolute prohibition of those commoditys, neither are there any clauses in them liable to such exceptions as those in this Act of Antegua. We are therefore humbly of opinion from the severall considerations beforemention'd that your Majesty may declare your disallowance of [this] Act of Antegua etc. [C.O. 153, 13. pp. 342–345.]
July 10.
Office of Ordnance.
612. Board of Ordnance to Mr. Secretary Craggs. In obedience to H.M. commands we have considered the report of the Council of Trade and Plantations, 30th May. We are of the same opinion with their Lordships with regard to the fortifications of Placentia and Annapolis Royal etc. Propose to advance £200 to Governor Philips, to buy boards and provide small timber at both places, for repairs of the barracks and magazines, and to send nails and tools from hence for the same etc. Signed, Tho. Frankland, Jno. Armstrong, M. Richards. Endorsed, Recd. (from Mr. Stanyan) 3rd Feb., Read 19th May, 1719/20. Copy. 1½ pp. Enclosed,
612. i. Estimate of materials proposed to be sent for the repair of the barracks and magazines at Placentia and Annapolis. Total, (including 24, 000 ft. of deal boards at £200) £292 3s. 2d. 1p. [C.O. 217, 3. Nos. 1, 1 i.]