America and West Indies
November 1718

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Institute of Historical Research

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Cecil Headlam (editor)

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1930

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381-397

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'America and West Indies: November 1718', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 30: 1717-1718 (1930), pp. 381-397. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=74048 Date accessed: 02 September 2014.


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Contents

November 1718

Nov. 3.
New York.
738. Governor Hunter to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Abstract. Acknowledges letters. As to the badness of pitch and tar exported from the Plantations, no remedy can be applied till the Assembly meets next spring. Will follow the Solicitor General's opinion concerning licenses for whale-fishing. Acknowledges Commission for pardoning pirates, which he is afraid will meet with bad returns, "for we have found by experience that their money spent and no merchant willing to employ them, they generally return to their former course of life." The Province and Legislature are under the deepest obligations to the Board for transmitting the caveats lodged with them against the Act for payment of the remainder of the publick debts. Explains and defends said Act, and encloses Council's answer, and also Assembly's Address, upon Address of Grand Jury against the bill (cf. 7th Aug.). "A few merchants here with those over whom they had any influence have formerly and will ever hereafter oppose and obstruct as much as in them lies all acts for support of Government although it is self evident that all this time our credit is higher and our trade more considerable than formerly, as your Lordships may observe from the Naval Officer's account. We have heard with pleasure of Sir George Byng's success against the Spanish fleet they have indeed been making war upon us of a long time as your Lordships will observe from the Assembly's address" enclosed. The Provincial Agent will lay the papers relating to the seizure referred to before the Board. Encloses acts passed the two last Sessions, none of which require any observations. By one the inconveniences complained of in the Revenue acts are removed. But, for reasons previously stated (July 7th etc.), asks, on behalf of the Legislature and people, for H.M. permission to make good the deficiencies that will be caused by said act, by passing an act laying a duty of 2 p.c. on all dry goods directly imported from Europe, which being on the prime cost does not amount to one per cent. and is in reality paid by the purchasers themselves, for without this the wisest men cannot devise funds sufficient for the future support of the Government. Encloses Minutes of Council and Journal of Assembly, and recommends to the Board's consideration the Address of Assembly relating to the Revenue acts. Concludes:— "And when you have reflected on the former difficulties in setleing any Revenue at all and the consequences that may attend the obstruction of a future setlement I cannot perswade my self that your Lordships can think that the clamours of a few self interested men avowed enemies to all such setlement can have force or weight to overbear the joint opinion of H.M. Councill here the Representatives of this Province and the whole body of such as are known to be well affected to his person and Government. The affairs of the Jerseys require no separate letter all continues there in perfect tranquillity that Assembly which was to have met at this time is adjourned to the beginning of January by reason of their Courts of Justice which sit in this and next month in the several Counties." Set out, N.Y. Col. Docs. V., p. 520. Signed, Ro. Hunter. Endorsed, 17th Dec., 1718, Read 23rd April, 1719. 6½ pp. Enclosed,
738. i. Memorial of the Governor and Council of New York to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Reply to caveats against the Act for payment of public debts etc. It is with no small concern we find a number of strangers to the Province very little interested in the trade of it become the advocates of a few male contents here and arraign the whole Legislature as the vilest of persons. We hope a libel against the Legislature founded only on imaginations and suspicions may be dismist with such a rebuke as will discourage such attempts for the future, etc. Their preamble consists of gross prevarications and misreprsentations. First they set forth that the debts accrued but since 1698 and that they were stated by the Commissioners at £19,000, and that by claims comeing in afterwards with what was added by this board they were found to amount to £27,680, which was paid by an Act for that purpose. But that it was declared at the passing of that Act and inserted into the preamble of it, that that Act should not serve as a president for any like bill for the future. The truth is very different. The debts began as far back as 1687, and were stated by the Commissioners at £36,482 13s. 1¾d., nor was there any such declaration as they say in any part of it, nor is it to be thought reasonable that the Legislature would make any such declaration as would intemedate the people and be a means of their denying a credit to the Government when there was occasion for it. Continue:—They represent the Act now complained of as a piece of private managery and that the Assembly took all the care they could to make it so by not printing their votes. This is a very wicked as well as rediculous representation for tho' it be true that the votes were not printed (owing to the negligence of the printer, there being a standing order for that purpose and sheets of votes were carried by the clerk of the house to him for that end), yet the procedings were not less publick, for on Aug. 24th 1716 there was an order of the General Assembly to certain persons therein named to receive the several claimes and report them at the next meeting of the house these persons sat publickly all the following winter and part of the next summer etc. Some of the Grand Jury who gave rise to this representation solicited that Assembly for debts and had them etc. It is rediculous to make the pretence of privacie when anybody for a small value might have from the Clerk every night a coppy of the votes of the foregoing day etc. If the addressors were realy concerned for the precariousness of the funds, they might have applied to us before whom the bill then was. The reasons for enacting the bill are in the preamble, which we humbly offer as reasons sufficient etc. The true reason for the clamours against the Act is because those men were paid who appeared so early on the side of the Revolution etc. Answer objections in detail. Cf. June 4th, 1719. Conclude:—The Act has the just relief of many persons and the credit and service of the Government for its foundation: the repeal of it will be attended with dangerous consequences etc. Signed, Ro. Hunter, A.D. Peyster, R. Walter, Gerard Beekman, Rip Van Dam, John Barberie, Th. Byerly, John Johnston. Endorsed, Recd. 17th Dec., 1718, Read 22nd, 23rd April, 1719. 15 pp.
738. ii. Examination of Denis Downing before the Council of New York, 31st Oct., 1718. He signed the address against the passing of the Act for payment of debts without reading it, because desired by Samuel Barker and others in a coffee-house in London in April last etc. Signed, Denis Downing. Endorsed, Recd. 17th Dec., 1718, Read 23rd April, 1719. Copy. 1 p.
738. iii. Affidavit by Gabriel Ludlow, Clerk of Assembly of New York, 31st Oct., 1718. Confirms No. i. as to printing of votes etc. Signed, G. Ludlow. Endorsed as preceding. Copy. 1 p.
738. iv. Minutes of Assembly of New York, 29th Nov. etc. 1717. Address to H.E. ordered upon the representation of the Grand Jury etc. Copy. 1 p.
738. v. Address of the Assembly of New York to Governor Hunter, Dec., 1717. We thank you for communicating to us the representation of the Grand Jury. We join with them in acknowledging that to your just, milde and prudent administration is very much owing the flourishing circumstances wee now are in etc. We are very much concerned to find a number of men some of which makes so considerable a figure in our trade to be endeavouring (but wee hope not intentionally) the distruction of that creditt which is so very much their interest to preserve etc. If the fonds are precarious the Royall assent will not make them less so etc. They are the same funds that support the Government, and the credit of those very bills now currant which has so much raised the character and interest of the trade of this place etc. Same endorsement. Copy. 2½ pp.
738. vi. Address of the Assembly of New York to Governor Hunter. New York, Oct. 14, 1718. A sloop with her cargo belonging to the Mayor of this City was on her voyage to this port taken by subjects of the King of Spaine and carried into St. Juan de Porto Ricco, and there condemned though the master had neither directly or indirectly traded in any port belonging to his Catholick Majesty or with any of his subjects etc. Others belonging to this port have been taken by the Spaniards in their voyages to and from the West Indies with only the produce of H.M. Plantations on board. Several vessells are fitting out at Porto Ricco in order to seize such English vessells as shall pass that way, which will render our trade and the supply of provisions to the West India Islands precarious, and this being of most fatall consequence to the trade of this Colony, we humbly pray your Excellency that you would represent it in such manner to H.M., and his Ministers that restitution may be made to the Mayor, and such unjust proceedings prevented for the future. Signed, Rt. Livingston, Speaker, and 21 Members of Assembly. Same endorsement. Copy. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1051. Nos. 88, 88 i.–vi.; and (without enclosures) 5, 1124. pp. 79–86.]
Nov. 3.
New York.
739. Governor Hunter to Mr. Popple. Acknowledges letter of 23rd July etc. Continues:—There are no Counsellors absent from New York with or without leave tho' some live remote in the Province and cannot attend. There has no forreign vessel been here to trade since I have been in this Government. As to our vessels that trade with forreign Plantations I shall observe the directions given me by their Lordships. I have by the same conveyance transmitted to their Lops. all publick acts minutes and papers which were mentioned in your schedule to be wanting except the Naval Officer's account for the three years mentioned there which will take much longer time than I have at present to make out. But if you'll be pleased to send to the board of Customs to whom for that three years they have been by a very odd mistake transmitted they will furnish you with them, they haveing the same accounts by the same conveyances from the officers of the Customs here. In my former letters to their Lordships I have in effect answered what you writt in relation to the Council of the Jerseys. But there is a mistake in that list of Counsellors you sent me for William Morris has been dead many years and never was in the Councill so that there is room for John Johnstoun in the Eastern Division and for the continuation of the good old man George Deacon for the Western. Of those formerly recommended Miles Foster and Robert Wheeler are dead and John Bambridge become altogether unfitt by age and hard drinking. For the Eastern Division I continue my recommendation in case of vacancies for John Reid, Adam Hude, John Johnstoun and Thomas Leonard and John Harrisone is now of the General Assembly but he is of the Eastern Division alsoe. For the Western John Reiding son of the deceased of that name Peter Baird merchant and inhabitant of Burlington John Muirhead and Anthony Woodward. But before I can venture to recommend more I must be better advised. There was no Assembly sat in Jersey in any of these three years of which you mention the Minutes of Assembly to be wanting. But the Minutes of Councill which are a wanting shall go so soon as they are perfected which I hope will be by the first conveyance etc. Signed, Ro. Hunter. Endorsed, Recd. 17th Dec., 1718, Read 23rd April, 1719. 3 pp. [C.O. 5, 1051. No. 89; and 5, 1124. pp. 88, 89.]
Nov. 4.
Antigua.
740. Governor Hamilton to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses Minutes of Council of Antigua 7th Feb., 1716–31st March, 1718, and of Assembly 11th Feb., 1716–31st March, 1718. Concludes:—As soon as I get the remainder, which I believe will be by the next oppertunity I shall not fail to transmitt them to your Lordships. Signed, W. Hamilton. Endorsed, Recd. 12th, Read 16th Dec., 1718. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 12. No. 120.]
Nov. 6.
Whitehall.
741. Mr. Popple to Richard West. The Lords Commissrs. for Trade etc. desire that when you have considered the papers transmitted to you 7th Oct., you will give them your opinion in writing whether the Province of the Massachusets Bay or those claiming under them have any and what right to the woods or any part of the same growing in the Province of Maine, what woods the Province of the Massachusets and those claiming under them have a right to, as likewise what woods on sevl. lands comprehended under the Charter of the Massachusets Bay do by Act of Parliament reservation in the Charter or otherwise belong of right to the Crown. [C.O. 5, 915. p. 223.]
Nov. 9.
Barbado's.
742. Governor Lowther to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Acknowledges letters of 20th March and 20th June. Continues:—Tho' seldom any vessels go's directly from hence to the Maderas, yet I directed the Naval Officer here to prepare such an account of the exportes and importes between Barbado's, the Maderas, and Western Island's as you seem to require (enclosed). Returns thanks for information as to measures taken to suppress pirates. Continues:—As I've expected with some impatience the Commission etc. to try pirates, so I cannot omit informing you, that Captain Francis Humes Commander of H.M.S. the Scarborough took on the 12th of June a pirate ship called the Blanco, of 6 guns, man'd with 80 men, and commanded by one Lew. [? de] Le Bour, a French man, who made his escape with all his men but 17, which number, are now in gaol here, and maintained out of the mony arising from the pirates goods that were seized here for the King's use, by vertue of my warrant dated the 24th of July, grounded on my 54th Instruction: the issuing of this warrant, was occasioned from Chaptain Humes having got the sd. ship and goods condemn'd as a prize to him at St. Christophers by one William Woddrop Judge Surrogate of H.M. Court of Admiralty there, and from his declaring that he would dispose of the sd. ship and cargo here as his prize even after I had shewed him the aforementioned Instruction, but as the whole proceeding of this affair is entered in the Minutes of Council herewith sent, I shall not trouble your Lordshipes with a further narrative of it, but only say, that I conceive all pirates goods belong to the King, and that Mr. Wooddrop acted illegally etc. Encloses accounts of pirates' goods sold etc. Continues:— In the meantime I should be extreamly glad to understand H.M. pleasure touching the sd. 17 pirates etc. I've reconsidered all the Acts inserted in the list Mr. Popple sent me by your Lordshipes direction, and do sincerely declare I know no material objections against any of 'em, but do still apprehend that they are very reasonable, wholesome, and necessary lawes; but as your Lordshipes seem to dislike some of 'em, I shall endeavour to give you all the satisfaction I'm able. I observe that your Lordshipes are of opinion that the Act for laying an imposition on wines etc., is not only lyable to many objections on account of the powers and penalties therein contained, but also, that it may have an ill effect upon trade. In answer to these scruples I hold it necessary to informe your Lordshipes, that tho' this Act is only annual, yet, it has been continued for many years as the easiest and most impartial imposition that can be laid upon the country. If the powers given for collecting the several impost's, and the penalties inflicted on eluding the payment of the several rates and duties thereby imposed are thought to be too great and exorbitant, it may be justly said, that the many trick's and fraud's which the importers of the sd. wines and strong liquors did put upon the Government is the only reason of making the Law so very strict etc. I conceive this law has no ill effect upon trade, because if the importers are dissatisfyed with market here, they are not only intituled to have a permit to export it to what place they please, but also of having all the duty either remitted or repayed. As to the Act for compiling the Laws of this Island I shall take care to lay the collection thereof before your Lordshipes (when finish'd) in order to receive your approbation before they are sent to the press. The exception that's taken to the Act for defraying the expence of the Commissioners appointed for making contracts being only about the wording of it, I hope the intent of the Act gives no offence; it being thought but reasonable here that the country should defray the expence of such publick spirited person as neglect their private affairs to serve their country. I hope your Lordshipes approves of the Act impowering licentiate lawyers to practice as barristers here since I find no animadversion upon it: as I'm sure no reasonable objection can be raised against it, but what may be easily answer'd, so I beg the favour of your Lordship's (on behalf of the Country) that if any interest is made to get it repealed, that you would be pleased to transmit us the reasons that are assigned against it, and to suspend your judgment, till you see the answer that may be given to the sd. reasons. As I send your Lordshipes by this opportunity a particular state of H.M. fortifications here, together with the Treasurer's account of the tax on negro heads that was raised for the repair thereof, as also the Minutes of Commissioners of contractes relating thereto, so in order to satisfy your Lordshipes that the sd. tax has been faithfully and justly apply'd to the use it was design'd; I desire you'l be pleased to observe that all the person's names with whom the Commissioners contracted for any materials for the use of the fortifications and all artificers names that were employ'd to work up the sd. materials are all inserted in the sd. Minutes as well as the wages of the several artificers, and the quallity, quantity and prises of the several species of materials etc.; likewise that as any of the Contractors had compleated their contractes; the Commissioners certifyed it to me in Council: this also appears by the Minutes of Council, as likewise that the Council advised and consented to my issuing orders on the Treasurer for the payment thereof. Refers to the Treasurer's accounts settled with the Committee of publick accountes etc. The mony remaining in the Treasurer's hand upon the sd. tax, and the materials that are yet unrought up will fully compleat all the fortifications. As your Lordshipes will find among the rest of the publick papers (I now send you) an estimate of the publick debts stated by the said Committee, so I cannot but acquaint you, that the provision that's made by the two levy Actes on negro heads (now sent you) together with some debtes we have recovered for the country will ballance all the publick debts by May next. I cannot conclude without thanking your Lordshipes for your admonition, thô I cannot but compare it to épée à deux tranchans which I shall take the liberty to explain in my next. Signed, Rob. Lowther. Endorsed, Recd. 30th Dec., 1718, Read 30th Sept., 1719. Holograph. 4 pp. Enclosed,
742. i. List of public papers sent in preceding. Same endorsement. 1¾ pp.
742. ii. List of causes determined and depending in the Court of Errors, Barbados, 18th Feb., 1717—16th Sept., 1718. Same endorsement. 1 p.
742. iii. List of causes determined in the Court of Chancery, Barbados, since 19th May—9th Oct., 1718. Same endorsement. 4 pp.
742. iv.–xii. State of the several fortifications and stores of war in Barbados, July, 1718. Signed, Robt. Yeamans, Tho. Maycock junr., John Waterman, W. Leslie, Tho. Maxwell. Same endorsement. 10 pp.
742. xiii. Account by Judge Edmund Sutton, Treasurer of Barbados, of £10,100 8s. 4d. raised by a tax on negroes' heads for the repair of the fortifications. Balance, £1898 11s. 5d. Audited by the Committee of Accounts. Same endorsement. 4 pp.
742. xiv. Estimate of the public debts of Barbados, by the Committee for settling the public accounts. Debit, £27, 731 3s. 0½d. Credit, £8540 11s. 3d. Signed, Wm. Leslie, Saml. Forte, Ralph Weekes, Robt. Bishop, Guy Ball, Will. Carter, Edmund Sutton, Jno. Waterman. Same endorsement. 2 pp.
742. xv. Account of sale of the pirate ship Blanco and her cargo, by Henry Lascelles, Collector. Same endorsement. 2 pp. [C.O. 28, 15. Nos. 52, 52 i.–xv.; and (without enclosures) 29, 14. pp. 1–13.]
[Nov. 9.]743. Minutes of Commissioners of Contracts relating to the fortifications of Barbados, Nov. 1715, referred to in Mr. Lowther's letter of Nov. 9, 1718. Endorsed, Recd. 30th Dec., 1718, Read 30th Sept., 1719. 36 pp. [C.O. 28, 16. No. 3.]
Nov. 12.744. Mr. West to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Reply to 7th Oct. and 6th Nov. I do find that the title which Mr. Cooke doth claim to be in the Province of Massachusetts Bay in opposition to the right of H.M. to all trees fit for masts of the diameter of 24 inches and upwards at 12 inches from the ground growing within the Province of Main is founded upon a supposed purchase of the said Province of Main by the Province of the Massachusetts Bay of and from the assignees of Sr. Ferdinando Gorges the person to whom the said Province was originally granted from the Crown. King Charles I did incorporate the assignees of the patent which King James I did in the eighteenth year of his reign grant to the Councell established at Plymouth in the County of Devon by the name of the Governour and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England by which Charter the said King did grant unto the said Corporation power to have take and possess acquire and purchase any lands tenements or hereditamts. or any goods or chattells and the same to lease or grant demise alien bargain sell and dispose of as other our liege people of this Our Realm of England or other Corporation or body politick of the same may lawfully doe. In the 15th year of K. Charles I the Province of Main was granted to Sr. Ferdinand Gorges his heirs and asss. which province did descend unto Ferdinando Gorges son and heir of John Gorges who was son and heir of the sd. Sr. Ferdinando Gorges which Ferdinando Gorges did in 1677 in consideration of £1250 give and grant all his right and title in and to the said Province unto John Usher of Boston merchant his heirs and asss. But whether it was by way of absolute sale or way of mortage doth not appear. And the said John Usher did in 1678 convey the same unto the said Corporation as appears by the printed Journall of the House of Representatives of that Province which was sent to me by Mr. Dummer their Agent. It may my Lords be made a question in Law whether that Corporation which was created by King Charles I could legally purchase the said Province of Main inasmuch as the clause of licence does goe no further then that they might purchas lands etc. as any other Corporation or Body politick in Engld. might lawfully doe and I take it to be clear Law that no Corporation whatsoever in England can purchase any lands which shall inure to themselves unless an express licence for that purpose be inserted in their Charter of Incorporation or otherwise. Yor. Lordpps. will be pleased to observe that this Corporation is by the Charter only subjected to the same laws as the Corporations in England are and that there is no licence to purchase lands granted to them by express words. I need not observe to your Lordpps. that nothing but express words is in Law sufficient to take away the King's prerogative. But indeed I should not have made use of any argument of this nature did I not think the Royall Prerogative in relation to the Navall Stores in America of the utmost consequence to the Kingdome and that therefore any advantage in point of Law ought to be taken wch. does not injure any private persons. But admitting that Corporation was fully enabled to purchase lands yet that Corporations is now extinguished for the patent 4° Caroli primi was in 1684 reversed in Chancery by a judgmt. upon a scir. fac. and consequently the Province which was granted to that Corporation and all lands purchased by that Corporation were revested in the Crown and therefore the inhabits. of New England can be no otherwise entituled unto the Province of Main then by some new title which must have accrued unto them subsequent to their incorporation by King William wch. it is impossible ever should have been since there is no licence granted unto them to purchase lands in or by their last Charter. Their last Charter was granted by the late King William in the third year of his Reign in which Charter it is observable that there is not only a variation in the name of incorporation but in the thing itself. And so far is the old Corporation from being revived that by this Charter they are not so much as erected into a Corporation or Body Pollitick so as to be able to sue or be sued etc. but the very termes of the Charter are that the King does erect and incorporate the severall countries menconed in the patent into one Reall Province by the name of Our province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England. It is plain to a demonstration that King William did at the time of granting this patent consider all the countries therein named and particularly the Province of Main as vested in himself in the right of his Crown and therefore he does unite and incorporate all those countries which were before severall and distinct, into one Real Province and does then grant all the lands included in that Province unto the inhabits. of the Province of the Massachusetts Bay in wch. denomination and grant the inhabitants of the Province of Main etc. are as much included and concerned as grantees as the inhabitants of that part of the countrey which was originally and singly known by the name of the Massachusetts Bay. All these Provinces therefore are now to be considered as one neither is it possible that one part of the Province should be the private property of another. It is true that the King does grant a power unto the Generall Assembly of the said Province to make grants of lands uncultivated lying within the bounds described in and by the Charter. But that grant does no ways extend to one part of the Province more then another but is equall to them all and is therefore subject to the last clause in the Charter by wch. all trees of the beforemenconed size are reserved to the Crown and consequently the Generall Assembly of that Province cannot make any grant of lands to private persons without their being subject to that clause of reservation. The Act of Parliament nono Annæ page 387 extends no further then the reservation in the Charter does only that Prerogative wch. before subsisted singly on the Charter is now confirmed and established by authority of Parliament. And therefore upon the whole matter I am of opinion that the King is legally entituled to all trees of the prescribed size growing in the Province of the Massachusetts Bay as it is described and bounded in the Charter of King William and particularly in the Province of Main excepting only those trees scituated on lands wch. were legally granted to private persons before the Charter 4° Caroli primi was reversed. Signed, Richd. West. Endorsed, Recd., Read 14th Nov., 1718. 5¾ pp. [C.O. 5, 867. No. 17; and 5, 915. pp. 225–230.]
Nov. 13.
Whitehall.
745. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Recommend John Yeamans for the Council of Antigua etc. [C.O. 153, 13. pp. 375, 376.]
Nov. 14.746. Receipt by Francis Carlile for Commission to pardon pirates to be delivered to Governor Hamilton. Signed, Fran. Carlile. Endorsed, Recd. 14th Nov., 1718. Slip. [C.O. 152, 12. No. 114.]
Nov. 14.
Whitehall.
747. Mr. Popple to Sir W. Thompson. Encloses copy of Governor Dudley's Commission, whereupon eight persons have been indicted for piracy etc. The Council of Trade and Plantations desire your opinion whether the said Commission did become void upon her Majesty's demise or before the said tryals, and in that case, as the persons who acted as Judges therein proceeded with a good intention, what methods may be proper to be taken for indemnifying them from such penalties as they may by Law have incurred. [C.O. 5, 915. p. 224.]
Nov. 14.
Whitehall.
748. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Propose repeal of Act of Jamaica, 1716, for the effectual discovery of all persons that are disaffected to H.M. etc., on grounds advanced by Sir N. Lawes, v. 1st Sept. [C.O. 138, 16. pp. 146–148.]
Nov. 14.
Whitehall.
749. Mr. Secretary Craggs to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Enquires if they have any objection to William Pusey, recommended for the Councill of Jamaica in place of Mr. Harrison decd. Signed, J. Craggs. Endorsed, Recd., Read 18th Nov., 1718. ¾ p. [C.O. 137, 13. No. 18; and 138, 16. pp. 148, 149.]
Nov. 14.
St. James's.
750. Same to Same. Refers following for their report. Signed, J. Craggs. ¼ p. Enclosed,
750. i. Petition of Fernando de Costa and son and Isaac Paxotto, on behalf of themselves and divers other merchants, to the King. Petitioners by their factors in Jamaica bought £7000 of indigo and shipped it on board the Nassau. It was seized by the Custom House Officers, supposed to be of the growth of Hispaniola, though the same way of trade has been before and since this seizure etc. The indigo was sold, with a share to Peter Heywood, then Governor, and others by his order, without any legal condemnation, for there was no Court of Admiralty capable of being held there at that time. Indigo is most necessary for the woolen manufacture; our Islands produce but very small quantities, and none coming from the East Indies, from whence they were mostly supplied. Petitioners' factors will be deterred from appearing in petitioners' behalf by dread of a by law of that Island made (but not confirm'd by your Majesty) inflicting £500 penalty and 12 months imprisonment without bail or main-prize upon any person that shall appear upon the importation of indico from Hispaniola etc., Pray H.M. directions in their behalf. Endorsed, Recd. (from Mr. Bravo) 20th, Read 21st Nov., 1718. 1 p.
750. ii. Opinions by Richard West upon the case of the Nassau supra. 17th June, 1718. Signed, Richd. West. 2 pp.
750. iii. Copy of Act of Jamaica for ascertaining ports of entry etc. 1714. 2½ pp.
750. iv. Copy of Act of Jamaica, 1715, to prevent all fraudulent trade to Hispaniola etc. 2 pp.
750. v. Copy of Act of Jamaica, for raising a revenue, laying a tax of 1s. 6d. per lb. on indigo imported. 1 p. [C.O. 137, 13. Nos. 19, 19 i.–v.]
Nov. 16.
Dragon in Lisbon River.
751. Commodore Scott to Mr. Popple. In pursuance of Instructions of the Council of Trade etc. upon my arrival in Newfoundland it was my chief care to find out the cause of the success [of the New Englanders who yearly carry away at least 1000 men] etc. And being inform'd that it was customary for creditors, before the fishing season was near an end, to seize upon the planters and boatkeepers fish; I concluded that thereby the servants must be disappointed of their wages, discouraged from continuing their labour, and laid under a necessity of embracing any offers whatever; I therefore sent directions to the fishing Admirals of the several harbours, to prevent so illegal and unfair a practice, and neglected no opportunity of recommending to them the encouragement of fishermen, which I doubt not, was in some measure an occasion of more men's returning to England this year, than for several years past: But that which I beleive contributed most to it, was the fear I possess'd the New England masters with, of a rigorous prosecution from their Lordps. in case they should entice or entertain any men from Newfoundland, contrary to an Order which I sent them etc. (No. ii.). Pursuant to their Lordps.' commands I likewise oblig'd such of them, as were in the harbour to sail with the convoy, and others who wanted to depart before it, to enter into bonds of £500 etc. When I left St. Johns, I gave it in charge to Mr. Collins there, to make strict enquiry if any of these masters had incurred the penalty, and to communicate his information to their Lordps. that they might give the necessary directions for their prosecution; and if one forfeiture were exacted, it is my humble opinion, that their Lordps. would be for ever after, freed from the trouble of receiving complaints of this kind: for which reason I think myself oblig'd to mention Edmond Freeman, master of the Harwich sloop, who the next day after he had signed his bond, sailed from St. Johns, and contrary to his obligation received on board 19 men, which as I was inform'd he had encourag'd to wait for him, and Thomas Maddock and Samuel Brixham bye boat keepers carry'd off to him from Cape Spear: but they being return'd for England before I had any intelligence of it, I could not after the strictest search, find any persons, who were aiding to them, or that could make such a circumstantiall and positive declaration upon oath as would have been sufficient: however, they living at Brixham in Devonshire, their Lordships may receive their evidence etc. This is not the only thing which craves a redress, for in answer to 5th and 9th Articles of their Additional Instructions, I desire you to lay before the Board that, the people of Newfoundland are chiefly supply'd with their provisions from the Plantations, from whence also are brought such large quantities of rum, molosses and tobacco, as to be afforded at very low rates, whereby the fishermen are tempted to idleness and debauchery: But that which I would more particularly represent is the clandestine and illegall commerce, carry'd on between the New England men, and severall of the British masters, especially the fishing admirals who (after they have according to the Act of Parliament qualify'd themselves in England for fishing ships) depart for France, Spain, or Portugall, where they freight with wines and brandys, which early in the year they carry directly for Newfoundland, and either dispose of to the planters, or barter with the New England men for the produce of the Plantations; by this means Newfoundland is not only supply'd with these foreign European commodities, but it is become a mart, from whence the other American Plantations are (in fraud of H.M. dutys) in a good measure furnish'd. If the Officers of the Customs in these Plantations would look narrowly after the ships, which use the Newfoundland trade they might give some discouragement to this traffick, etc. As these Admirals are chiefly concern'd in this unfair commerce, so their tyranny and oppression in the harbours where there are none of H.M. ships, is not to be reckoned among the least causes of the decay of the fishery, those who labour in it having learn'd by experience that the rule of their decisions is their private interest, and that fishermen are not to expect any justice from them: this contributes to the scarcity of men, which occasions wages to be so extravagant that the fish which they catch is often not sufficient to pay the servants, and the inhabitants, and the inhabitants are thereby so much discourag'd that there have not been half the number of boats employ'd by them as formerly. Another great disadvantage which the fishery labours under proceeding from the countrey's being, during it's long winter without the least form of Government or order, it would be of considerable service, if some of the inhabitants were entrusted with Commissions of the Peace for the administration of justice during that season, and as their Lordps. commanded me to make enquiry if any persons in Newfoundland, were fitly qualify'd for the preserving of order, I think myself oblig'd to recommend William Keen merchant, and John Collins planter in St. Johns; the first, though a native of New England, seems to have a reall concern for the prosperity of the fishery etc., and has spirit enough for reforming severall disorders that have been the unavoidable consequences of want of government, etc. As there were a great many French employ'd in catching of core fish upon the Banks, which they carry directly to France, so they had 6 vessels in Petit Nore, and it's neighbouring harbours, where for some years they have assum'd to themselves the liberty of leaving their boats untill the succeeding year, which I sent orders to the inhabitants of Bonnavist to destroy if they continue the practice. Reply to Article 4 of Instructions. The people to the northward of St. Johns, after the codd fishing, follow the furring and seal oyl trades with industry and success insomuch that these two last winters by less than 200 persons belonging to Bonnavist, there was made 130 tun of oyl, and £3000 clear'd for furrs, and were it not for the scarcity of servants those trades might be improv'd to a very great degree: The Northern Bays abounding with beavers, otters, and foxes, as well as seales. And to the northward of Cape Bonavist there are severall fine rivers capable of employing some hundreds of men in the salmon fishing which lyes unimproved: the last season there was 200 teirces of it catch'd by only five persons. Signed, Tho. Scott. Endorsed, Recd. 16th Feb., Read 9th April, 1719. 2½ pp. Enclosed,
751. i. Copies of bonds in £500 by 3 masters, Tho. Thompson, Edmond Freeman and John Stevens, of New England vessels, not to carry from Newfoundland any but their own ships' complement etc. H.M.S. Dragon. Oct., 1718. Endorsed as preceding. 3 pp.
751. ii. Order by Commodore Scott to masters of New England vessels not to carry away men from Newfoundland, but to be in readiness to sail with H.M. ships against 5th Oct. H.M.S. Dragon, St. Johns, 20th Sept., 1718. Same endorsement. Copy. 1 p.
751. iii. Scheme of the Fishery of Newfoundland (1718). Fishing ships, 95; sack ships, 35; ships from America, 26. Burthen of fishing ships, 7902 tons; number of men belonging to the ships, 2079. Fishing ships' boats, 326; bye boats, 185; inhabitants' boats, 393. Boatsmen; masters, 242, servants, 1398. Quintals of fish made by fishing ships, 36, 058; by bye boats, 23, 310; by inhabitants' boats, 41, 455. Fish carried to market, 92, 730 quintals. Train, made by fishing ships, 604; by bye boats, 326; by inhabitants' boats, 645. Number of stages, 320. Inhabitants; men, 2493; women, 304; children, 517. Same endorsement. 1 p. [C.O. 194, 6. Nos. 59, 59 i.–iii.; and (without enclosures) 195, 6. pp. 491–497.]
Nov. 17.
Whitehall.
752. Mr. Secretary Craggs to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Francis Carlisle being recommended to H.M. as a person very fit to be of the Council of Antego, in the room of Mr. Thomas deceased, desires to know whether they have any objection etc. Signed, J. Craggs. Endorsed, Recd., Read 18th Nov., 1718. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 12. No. 15.]
Nov. 17.
St. James's.
753. Same to Same. Refers following for their report etc. Signed, J. Craggs. Endorsed, Recd., Read 20th Nov., 1718. ¼ p. Annexed,
753. i. Petition of Abel Alleyn, Samuel Cox, Timothy Alleyne and John Whetstone and 15 others to the King. The passage from Barbados to Martinique is short and easily performed in small boats, whereby negro slaves run away, are stolen by sailors, or driven away in boats by stress of weather etc. The regulation for their restitution instituted by the French King is to apprehend all such and them to keep for the French King, but to restore them to H.M. subjects upon their produceing a letter of claime from H.M. Governor. The Marquis D'Fanquier, General of the French Islands is ready to restore their respective slaves to petitioners, upon receiving such letter from Governor Lowther, but he has absolutely and peremptorily refused to write any letter or make any application whatsoever to the Governor of Martinique. Pray for H.M. directions to Governor Lowther etc. 2 pp. [C.O. 28, 15. Nos. 39, 39 i.; and 29, 13. pp. 480–484.]
Nov. 19.
Whitehall.
754. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Craggs. In reply to 17th Nov. refer to No. 745. Will propose Mr. Carlisle upon the next vacancy etc. [C.O. 153, 13. pp. 377, 378.]
Nov. 19.
Whitehall.
755. Mr. Popple to Mr. Lowndes. Encloses copy of Mr. West's opinion [12th Nov.], whereby H.M. title to the woods is fully asserted. Continues:—And as the Council of Trade and Plantations do intirely agree with Mr. West in his opinion upon this matter, and are highly sensible of how great consequence it is to the Royal Navy, that the powers and instructions formerly given to Mr. Bridger for the preservation of H.M. woods in America, should be duely obeyed and executed, they do conceive, it may be for H.M. service that he should be pleased to order that a copy of Mr. West's report should be sent to Governor Shute, and that he be directed to communicate the same to the Council and Assembly of that Province, together with H.M. resolution to be punctually obeyed in a matter of so great consequence to these Realms. And if these directions should not produce the effect that might be expected from them, their Lordps. are of opinion it would in such case be adviseable to bring a scire facias against the Charter of the Massachusets Bay. [C.O. 5, 915. pp. 230–232.]
Nov. 19.
Whitehall.
756. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Craggs. Reply to Nov. 14. Mr. Pusey having been recommended to us, we have given directions for enquiry to be made into his character etc. [C.O. 138, 16. pp. 149, 150.]
Nov. 20.
Whitehall.
757. Mr. Secretary Craggs to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses following for their opinion thereupon. Signed, J. Craggs. Endorsed, Recd. 21st Nov., Read 5th Dec., 1718. ½ p. Enclosed,
757. i. Address of House of Burgesses of Virginia to the King, 27th May, 1718. Copy of No. 568 iv. [C.O. 5, 1318. Nos. 52, 52 i.; and (without enclosure) 5, 1365. pp. 171, 172.]
Nov. 24.
Admty. Office.
758. Mr. Burchett to Mr. Popple. Encloses following. Signed, J. Burchett. Endorsed, Recd. 24th Nov., 1718, Read 9th April, 1719. Addressed. ½ p. Enclosed,
758. i. Commodore Scott to Mr. Burchett. H.M.S Dragon, Lisbon, 8th Nov., 1718. On 17th Oct. I sailed from Newfoundland with H.M.S. Rye and 18 merchant men: Tho' we had no certain intelligence of the rupture with Spain, yet we had such rumors, as made me appoint Lisbon for the place of rendevous etc. The ships design'd for the Port of Spain, intend now to go to Italy, not finding a market here for their fish, where I shall proceed with them etc. Concludes with copy of No. 751. Copy. 3½ pp.
758. ii. Duplicate of No. 751 iii. [C.O. 194, 6. Nos. 60, 60 i., ii.; and (with enclosure ii. only) 195, 6. p. 498.]
Nov. 24.
Rhode Island.
759. Nathaniel Kay to Mr. Popple. When I had the honr. to waitt on you about 4 months since att the Cockpitt, I crav'd the favr. to know whether the order was sent to the Charter Governmts. that restrain'd the severall Governmts. in the Plantations from putting laws relating to trade in execution; before they were confirm'd in England: and you were pleas'd to acquaintt me they were. I being the Collectr. appointed by the Hon. Commrs. of H.M. Customes for this Governmt.; think itt my duty to acquaintt; they have not receiv'd any account of such an order here; and as I have been inform'd not in our neighbouring Colony of Connecticutt. And severall laws being made there, wch. 'tis humbly conceiv'd, are repugnt. to the Laws of Trade made in England relating to the Plantations; as laying on of duties, and obliging the King's subjects of other Governts. to pay them; and curtailing the trade by obliging the King's liege subjects in bond, to carry the produce of that Governmt. to certain places of trade limited by their own Acts, and abusing the King's Officers by laws wch. are repugnt. to the Laws of Trade made for the plantations; and if order'd to be sent home, w'd treat the officers in another manner; and allso These matters giving greatt discouragemt. to trade in generall, and many of H.M. subjects in this Colony having suffer'd very much by such laws; and as likewise a flourishing trade might be carried on between the severall Governmts. of H.M. Plantations: I pray you will signifie the King's Order to these Governmts. etc. Signed, Nath. Kay. Endorsed, Recd. 22nd Jan., Read 11th June, 1719. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 1265. No. 122; and 5, 1293. pp. 176, 177.]
Nov. 25.
St. James's.
760. H.M. Warrant for affixing the Great Seal to Commissions to John Hunter, Commander of the Sunderland, and John Richard, Commander of the Borneo, for seizing pyrates, freebooters and sea-rovers etc. Countersigned, J. Craggs. Copy. [C.O. 324, 33. p. 190.]
Nov. 26.
Whitehall.
761. Mr. Secretary Craggs to the Governor of the Leeward Islands, or in his absence the Lt. Governor of Antegoa. Sir Edmund Prideaux owner of three fourth parts of the ship the Three Maries lately stranded at Antegoa, having given a power to Philip Darby of that Island, to recover his ¾th. parts of what the hull and appurtenances of the said ship were sold or agreed for, I am to desire you will give him all the necessary assistance etc. Signed, J. Craggs. [C.O. 324, 33. p. 189.]
Nov. 27.
Cockpit.
762. Richard Coope to Mr. Popple. The Proprietors of the Nevis and St. Christophers debentures, designing to apply to Parliamt., to procure provision for the same, and there being some sufferers who have not had debentures issued, because they did not settle on the Island where they sustain'd their losses, and others, who are under ye same circumstances, for omitting to comply wth. some things required by Act of Parliamt., desire a list of the sd. sufferers and the loss which was allowed ym. Signed, Ri. Coope. Endorsed, Recd. 27th, Read 28th Nov., 1718. Addressed. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 12. No. 116.]
[Nov. 27.]763. List of 31 negroes and their owners stolen, run away or driven by stress of weather from Barbados to Martinique in 1717, 1718. (v. 11th Sept., 1717, and 17th Nov., 1718.) Endorsed, Recd. (from Tho. Tryon, Mr. Gordon etc.), Read 27th Nov., 1718. 1 p. [C.O. 28, 15. No. 41.]
Nov. 27.
Whitehall.
764. Mr. Popple to Mr. West. Requests his opinion upon 3 Acts of New Jersey etc. (v. 11th Dec.) passed 1714, and an Act passed in 1717 for the better inforcing an order of H.E. etc. Encloses memorial of Mr. Smith, Secretary of New Jersey, and extract from Governor Hunter's letter 12th Nov., 1715. [C.O. 5, 995. pp. 449, 450.]
Nov. 28.
Whitehall.
765. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Recommend William Pusey for the Council of Jamaica etc. (v. 14th Nov.) [C.O. 138, 16. p. 151.]
Nov. 28.
Whitehall.
766. Same to Mr. Secretary Craggs. Informing him of preceding representation. [C.O. 138, 16. p. 152.]
Nov. 28.
Whitehall.
767. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Craggs. Reply to Nov. 17th. Mr. Micklethwaite, one of the Agents of Barbados, suggests that the Governor's refusal of petitioner's request, might have proceeded from his care to avoid and discourage all pretence of carrying on a clandestine trade with the French Plantations in accordance with his Instructions of May, 1717 etc. But if he has no other reasons, we are humbly of opinion that H.M. may be graciously pleased to direct him to comply with their request, provided his letter to reclaim the negroes be sent by a messenger of his own and that particular care be taken, that no illegal trade be carryed on with the French settlements under this pretence. Autograph signatures. 2 pp. Enclosed,
767. i. List of negroes lost from Barbados to Martinique, 1717, 1718. 1 p. [C.O. 28, 39. Nos. 6, 6 i.; and (without enclosure) 29, 13. pp. 485, 486.]