America and West Indies
July 1719, 14-20

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Institute of Historical Research

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Cecil Headlam (editor)

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1933

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159-172

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'America and West Indies: July 1719, 14-20', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 31: 1719-1720 (1933), pp. 159-172. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=74073 Date accessed: 28 November 2014.


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Contents

July 1719, 14-20

[July 14.]300. Draught of Instructions for Governor Philipps, with notes and corrections by [? Mr. Secretary Craggs]. 7¾ pp. [C.O. 217, 31. No. 21].
July 14.301. H.M. Instructions by the (Lords Justices) to Governor Philipps, with Instructions relating to the Acts of Trade and Navigation. [C.O. 5, 189. pp. 417–461].
July 15.
Whitehall.
302. Mr. Popple to Mr. Delafaye. Encloses extracts of letters relating to new attempts of Indians and Spaniards against Carolina, dated in April, to be laid before the Lords Justices. [C.O. 5, 1293. p. 217].
July 15.303. Invoice of goods consigned to the Governor of New York, being part of H.M. present designed for the Five Nations of Indians. Endorsed, Recd. 15th July, Read 4th Aug., 1719. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1051. No. 95].
July 15.304. Mr. Popple to Mr. West. Desires to know whether the debentures to be issued for the relief of the sufferers at Nevis and St. Christophers that have duly resettled on either of those islands, pursuant to an Act pass'd the last Session of Parliament, ought to be on stamp(t) paper. [C.O. 153, 13. p. 421].
July 16.305. Mr. West to Mr. Popple. Reply to preceding. I do not conceive it to be necessary etc. Signed, Richd. West. Endorsed, Recd. 17th, Read 21st July, 1719. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 12. No. 145].
July 16.306. Mr. Secretary Craggs to Governor Shute. Encloses Order of Lords Justices in Council, 26th May, repealing Act of the Massachusetts Bay granting unto H.M. several rates and dutys of imposts and tonnage of shipping, 1718. Continues: Their Excellencies in Council order me to signifie to you, that considering this Act is repugnant to the Laws of this Kingdom (by which the Plantations are and ought to be bound) and for as much as it seems design'd to be an annual one, you are, in case it shall have been re-enacted this year before you receive these orders, forthwith upon receipt hereof, to declare their Excellency's disapprobation of the said Act, and not to permit the same or any part of it to be put in execution. And to prevent so pernicious a practice for the future, their Excellencies do also direct you to represent to the Council and Assembly of that Province, that, as the power of making laws, which was granted to them by their Charter from their late Majesties King William and Queen Mary is restrain'd to the condition, that such laws shall not be repugnant to the laws of this Kingdom, they will do well to consider, how far the breaking this condition, and the laying any discouragements on the shipping and manufactures of this Kingdome may endanger their Charter. And I am at the same time to put you in mind of the obligations you lye under by the oath you took before your entrance on the Government (in pursuance of a clause in the Act for preventing frauds etc. in the Plantation Trade) to put the laws of Trade and Navigation in due execution, as well as by H.M. Instructions to you of the 27th Sept., 1717, not to pass any Act, which may affect the trade or shipping of this Kingdom, without a clause therein to be inserted, that the said Act shall not be in force, untill the same shall be approved and confirmed by H.M. his heirs and successors. And in the last place, I am to informe you, that their Excellencys are extreamly dissatisfied with your conduct in consenting to the passing an Act so contrary to your Instructions, and to the laws and interest of England. Signed, J. Craggs. Annexed,
306. i. Order of Lords Justices in Council, 26th May, 1719, referred to in preceding. [C.O. 324, 33. pp. 239–242].
July 16.
Newhampsh.
307. Robert Armstrong to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Returns thanks for letter etc. Continues: The great disapointment officers in ye Plantations meets with from home, by not answering their letters, in order to obtain suitable measures to prevent abuses, is a discouragement and disables them from doing their duty, etc. Mr. Burniston has sent me his deputation for Deputy Surveyor of H.M. Woods, but not sending over his Commission, wch. ought to be published in ye severall Governments before I can be qualifi'd to act, ye power is at present wholly invested in Mr. Bridger etc. It was alwayes the oppinion of the Lords of Trade and Treasury at home, that the Collector of Newhampsh, was the most proper person to take care of H.M. woods, etc. Signed, Rot. Armstrong. Endorsed, Recd. 10th, Read 23rd Sept., 1719. Addressed. 1 p. Enclosed,
307. i. (a) William Blathwayt, Auditor General of the Plantations, to [? Lord Godolphin] Whitehall, 11th Jan., 1709(10), Recommends the appointment of Robert Armstrong as deputy to take care of the woods in New Hampshire in Mr. Bridger's absence etc. (b) Lord Godolphin to John Bridger. Whitehall, 20th Feb., 1709(10). Recommends Armstrong as preceding, "if you have noe objection," etc. (v. 16th Sept.). Signed, Godolphin. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 867. Nos. 52, 52. i.]
July 16.
Whitehall.
308. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Shute. Enclose representation and Orders in Council for repeal of Acts of New Hampshire, 1717, for the relief of ideots, providing for posthumous children, and against high treason. As to the other Acts passed in the same year, we have had them under our consideration, as likewise some passed in 1716. Four, we find, are now expired, and judging the other 24 not to require the being immediately laid before H.M. for his confirmation or disallowance, we shall let them lie by as probationary for the present, and in the meantime shall expect your observations as to the good effect or inconveniences in the execution of any of them: But we must particularly take notice concerning the Act, 1714, directing the proceedings against forceable entry etc., that 14 men thereby appointed to be a jury, is not agreable to the laws of England, which constitute 12 men to be a jury, and that the number of 18 freeholders to be returned by the Sherif, pursuant to this Act, and out of which such jurys are to be taken, is too small; which you will therefore do well to get rectifyed by another Act for the like purposes. We have likewise received 38 Acts passed at New Hampshire in 1718, which we shall consider off. Annexed,
308. i. List of 24 Acts, New Hampshire, 1714, lying by probationary. [C.O. 5, 915. pp. 290–294].
July 16.309. Lords Proprietors of Carolina to Governor Johnson. We do once more strictly enjoin you to transmit or cause to be transmitted to us all such acts of Assembly under the publick seal, as have been confirm'd by us or any of our predecessors pursuant to the tenor of the 4th Article in your Instructions; We desire you wou'd send them over by the first opportunity etc. You desire in your letter to us that Mr. Gibbons may have some satisfaction made to him for his house, which the Govr. and Council have sat in for some time; We think it proper to inform you, as we have formerly done, that when the Assembly shall be legally settled, we shall be very willing to comply with them in any Acts for the better support of the Government and the incident charges belonging thereunto. Mr. Yonge has requested of us that proper officers may be settled at the Port of Beaufort, etc. We have not as yet sufficiently consider'd of that matter, and will take further time to give you our answer. We have order'd that a copy of the complaints against our Chief Justice Trott by Mr. Allen, Whitaker and others practitioners of the law be forthwith made and sent to Mr. Trott, that he may have an opportunity to justify himself as far as he is able. Signed, Carteret, Palatin; M. Ashley, J. Colleton, J. Danson. [C.O. 5, 290. pp. 144–146].
July 16.
Whitehall.
310. Mr. Delafaye, Secretary to the Lords Justices, to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The Lords Justices having appointed Martin Bladen, Esqr. to go to the Court of France to settle such matters relating to the respective limits of the Plantations of the two Crowns in America, and to the different pretensions of the two Nations on each other in those parts, as by the late Treatys of Peace and Commerce were left undecided; their Excys. have directed that your Lordships prepare the forms of such powers and instructions as you shall think necessary for him in this behalf. Signed, Ch. Delafaye. Endorsed, Recd. 17th, Read 21st July, 1719. 1p. [C.O. 323, 7. No. 158].
July 17.
Boston.
311. Mr. Bridger to Mr. Popple. Mr. Cooke now he is a Representative labours with all his envie, subtilty, and intrest to delude his fellow members, and by vile artifices has brought a great number over to his oppinion, having lay'd a very long leter before the House of Representatives and a memorial directed to the Speker, wherein he wholely insists against the intrest of the Crown etc., and denies all claime of the King in the woods of the Province of Main. Mr. Cooke's arguments, as June 29, No. 1, answered by Bridger as June 29. Continues: The King's right was never called in question till Mr. Cooke (that Incendiary) with unparlleld insolence, h[ad] endeavoured, to poyson the minds of his countreymen, with his republican notions, in order to assert the independency of New England, and claim greater privileges than ever were designed for it etc. I find the Governor never delivered my 2nd Memorial (below) to any of the Council nor layed it before them nor the Assembly etc., otherwise, Mr. Cooke had been long since silenced etc. Signed, J. Bridger. Endorsed, Recd. 28th Aug., Read 10th Sept., 1719. Addressed. 1 p. Enclosed,
311. i. Memorial of John Bridger to Governor Shute. Reply to Mr. Cooke as above etc. 5th July, 1718. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 867. Nos. 49, 49 i.].
July 17.
Province of New Hampshire in New England.
312. Lt. Governor Wentworth to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I have wrote to your Lordships three times since the receipt of my Commissn., as yet I have not been favour'd with your Lordships commands' wch. I shall at all times gladly receive and doe my utmost endeavours to promote anything that may have a tendency to advance ye intrest of Great Brittain. The late Act that was passing for a generall prohibition of the manefacturing of iron in ye Plantations, put all thinking men at a stand what to doe or say. Indeed had ye Act pased, it would have so crampt the Plantations and N. England in particular, that it would have been morrally imposible for us to subsist, for we have many things that are wrote in iron wch. must be made by moulds to fitt ye place they are design'd for, and should we be obleiged to send these moulds for Great Brittain the freight and transportation would be more then the first cost, and affter all it might not fitt ye purpose it was designed for and further it is very evident yt had or should such an Act pass, we cannot build a ship in all ye Plantations. I beg yr. Lordships patience to instance in one particular, wch. is in ruder irons for a ship yt. is built in ye Plantations. I say that all the carpenters and smiths in Great Brittain cannot make a sett of ruder irons to fitt a ship thats built in ye Plantations etc. Argues that thus the export of woollen manufactures would be much lessened, and "that it cannot be for ye interest of Great Brittain to cramp a Plantation that is soe capable of serving their mother Great Brittain as N. England is" etc. Our labour is so deare that we cannot make that progress as otherwise we might. Last May Session we passed two Acts for ye incouragement of Navall stores and particularly hemp. I spake to Mr. Bridger, our Surveyor Generall of H. M. woods to pray your Lordships favour in giveing this Province of New Hampsheire 100 bushells of good new hemp seed to be distributed among such of ye inhabitance as was most likely to propagate it etc. H. M. woods will suffer if a Deputy is employed instead of the Surveyor General etc. Signed, Jno. Wentworth. Endorsed, Recd. 9th Sept., 1719, Read 5th July, 1722. 4 pp. [C.O. 5, 868. ff. 232–233 v., 236 v.].
July 18.
Province of New Hampshire in New England.
313. Lt. Governor Wentworth to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Yesterday came to my hands a letter dated April 12th with a complaint against mee wch. at first did a litle surprize me, but when I considered the matter, I was very well asured it was Mr. Vaughan who I succeeded in the Lieuftency of this Province etc. What my friend writes me is that theire is an information against me that I have and do still carry on a trade with Capt. Macpheadnis by sending large ships to Cadiz with Navill stores and provisions etc. Refers their Lordships to Mr. Dummer for affidavits and certificates and declares that he was never concerned with Capt. Macpheadnis except in the case of one sloop of 70 tons which cleared for Cadiz with 200 spruce poles and 35 small standards on Oct. 5th. Why the informer should mention provitions is very wonderfull, everybody here knows they cannot be carried from hence to Spaine but with more than 100 p.c. loss etc. My carrecture is well known on the Exchange of London etc. Protests his innocence of any breach of the Acts of Trade etc. In August last an information came to me that Capt. Macpheadnis had taken on board some masts bigger than what was usually shipt. I immediately ordered that they should be taken out again, and summoned Mr. Bridger from Boston and they were sold and shipped to London etc. Signed, Jno. Wentworth. Endorsed, Recd. 9th Sept., 1719, Read 5th July, 1722. 2½ pp. [C.O. 5, 868. ff. 234–235 v.].
July 18.
Whitehall.
314. Mr. Secretary Craggs to Governor Rogers. Acknowledges letters of 2nd Feb., 3rd March and 27th May, with enclosures. Continues: All which have been laid before the Lords Justices, who very well approved of all your proceedings. Their Excellency's directed the several paragraphs of your letters, in which you make mention of your Colonys being neglected by the men of war, to be sent to the Lords of the Admiralty, and that the Governor of Jamaica should be writ to, in relation to what past betwixt a privateer of that Island and one belonging to your Government. George Bounsivell the Pyrate whom you reprieved is represented to H. M. as an object of mercy. I wish you success and shall be glad if I can any way contribute to it etc. Signed, J. Craggs. [C.O. 324, 33. p. 242].
July 18.
Whitehall.
315. Mr. Delafaye to the Governor of Jamaica. Encloses following. Concludes: The Lords Justices direct you to enquire into this matter, and if you find it is as it is represented, to do all in your power to have it redres't, and to prevent such proceedings for the future. Signed, Ch. Delafaye. Annexed,
315. i. Deposition of Capt. South, Commander of the private sloop of war Endeavour of New Providence. v. 27th May, 1719. Copy. [C.O. 324, 33. pp. 243, 244].
July 20.
Antigua.
316. Governor Hamilton to the Council of Trade and Plantations. About three weeks ago I received your Lordships letter of 24th April with a copy of the memorial by the Danish Minister and your letter to Mr. Secretary Craggs etc. I am extreamly thankfull, for if application should be made to me by the Governour of St. Thomas, for anything of that nature, I shall be the better able to give him an answer. I take notice of the names of the gentlemen whom H. M. has been pleased to add to the Council of St. Christophers as also of the restoration of Colo. Thomas Morris to his place in the Council of Antigua, to which I shall give all imaginable obedience, and tho I thought the conduct and behaviour of Colo. Morris rendered him very unworthy of the honor that H. M. has conferred on him, yet I very chearfully submit, for I assure your Lordships I have no resentment to any person whatever, neither have I any by ends to manage; Those that behave themselves best for the honor of H. M. and the service of their country will always be best esteemed by me etc. I very readily submit to your Lordships' reasons for not recommending Colo. Valentine Morris etc. (v. 24th April). But if your Lordships will be pleased to look on the Instructions that were given to Sir William Mathews, you will find that his brother Colo. Charles Mathews who was but a private gentleman was appointed to be of the Council in each of these Islands; so that distinction was not confined to the Lieutenant General of the Islands; However I don't presume to contest the matter with your Lordships, or to say anything to reinforce my former recommendation. I only mention this to convince your Lordships that my transactions in that particular was not without president. It is with some concern that I observe the paragraph of your Lordships' letter, which says that the Minutes of the Council and Assembly of Antigua, mentioned in mine of the 4th of Nov., was not brought to your office till some time after you received my letter. I assure your Lordships their delay was not owing to my intentions; However to avoid the like for the future, I shall take care to address them directly to yourselves, tho with submission I always apprehended it was proper for the Agent to have waited on your Lordships with all things of that kind as well as the Acts but since your Lordships think otherwise I shall conform myself accordingly. The same paragraph of your Lordships letter lays me under inexpressible concern in regard you thereby enjoyn me to perform certain Instructions which were never done by former Governours nor indeed is it almost possible for me to comply therewith, many parts of what is enjoyned by my said Instructions being to be perform'd by other persons, whom, it will be pretty hard for me to compell to comply therewith in case they do not think proper to obey what I direct in that matter; And first I must observe to your Lordships that I do not see how I can oblige the Secretary to furnish me with a Collection of the Laws, for as H. M. has been pleased to grant Mr. Knights the office for life, it is to be doubted whether or not I can suspend his Deputy if he refused to draw the same which it is to be feared he will in regard I doubt the country will scarce agree to raise a tax to pay for the same; and for him to do so great a piece of work without any consideration would likewise be hard; but that nothing may be omitted on my part to obey your Lordships commands I have drawn orders to the Deputy Secretary of Mountserrat and this Island for making out the said Collection, and supplying me with copys of the Council Minutes and the other papers required by your Lordships, but least they should refuse to comply therewith I must request your Lordships to let me know by the first conveyance what measures I must take with the said officers etc. I have also caused orders to be drawn to the proper persons for performing every other particular part of my Instructions now recommended by your Lordships said letter, and as soon as I can get the several papers and matters returned they shall be transmitted to your Lordships. But I must still fear that I must find it difficult to get a map of the Islands drawn in regard it is a work that requires a pretty deal of pains, and I doubt the Surveyors of the several Islands would rather quit their places than do it without being paid for the same, which will be a dilemma that I shall always be under, for no one will accept of a post to have so much trouble without profit, however I have issued orders for this particular likewise and when I have a return your Lordships shall have the same. I likewise observe that your Lordships have reported against the Act for laying an additional duty on wines etc., as also what you say about the Powder Act, which laws are really very necessary for raising mony and powder for the service of the Island; and since your Lordships have not thought fit to approve thereof I believe the Assembly will submit to have the clauses omitted which your Lordships report against, and will when they know exactly your objections prepare bills accordingly until when I omit enlarging on this head only to assure your Lordships that if the liquor Act past in 1717 was not sent home it was not through design but hurry for I happened to be at Leeward when I assented to the same, and that afterwards to have it published and recorded I sent it up to this Island from whence it was omitted to be return'd so it has really lain in the Secretary's Office ever since having slipt my memory etc., as well as another Act past at the same time for reinforcing the former powder Act; However I herewith send them, and have given directions to the Secretary for making out a duplicate of the Powder Act past in 1714 which your Lordships shall likewise have under the Seal assoon as I can get it from the Secretary. That Act was past before my coming to the Government so the fault of the originals not being transmitted cannot lye on me. Encloses copies of grants of lands to Major James Milliken and Mr. John Newth etc., "being the only two parcels which I conceive your Lordships have any doubt about." Encloses answer to queries of Aug. 8th. Continues:—If I am not so exact as you may desire it is because it is impossible for me to be more distinct. As to that part of your letter of 8th August desiring to know whether the soil of foreign Colonies where sugar caines are planted be more valuable than that of H.M. Islands under my Government and particularly whether the land of Guardelope or Martinique be preferable to the lands in the late French part of St. Christophers, according to the best account I can gain the lands both of Guardelope and Martinique but especially the latter is much more valuable and preferable to that of St. Christophers it not being so large as either of those Islands, the soil of each of which do at least equal if not exceed that of any of the Islands under my Government etc. P.S.—Encloses Powder Act of 1714 received from the Secretary, and a furlow for Lawrence Brodbelt etc. Signed, W. Hamilton. Endorsed, Recd. 14th, Read 16th Sept., 1719. 6 pp. Enclosed,
316. i. Governor Hamilton's answers to Queries of the Board, Aug. 8th, 1718. (i) I have issued warrants for taking a list of the inhabitants etc. (ii) It is impossible for me to be exact in answering for I have no account of the last estimate etc. (iii) Several inhabitants have removed from Anguilla and some few from Antego Mountserrat Nevis and Saint Christophers in order to settle on Crabb Island before it was last invaded by the Spaniards, but they have now left the same, and are returned some to one Island and some to another, however they and many others seem inclinable to remove to the other small Islands for want of land in better places, which cannot be prevented unless H. M. would be graciously pleased forthwith to order some of the lands in the French part of St. Christophers to be immediately distributed among them, and more especially the inhabitants of Anguilla who must desert that Island, it being so barren that it will not produce Indian provisions sufficient to support them. There are upwards of 1700 people on the Island including negroes; they are very industrious and carefull and might be of excellent use to this Government, could they be setled on these Windward Islands; There are above a hundred effective fighting men amongst them. I have done all I could hitherto to prevent their leaving the Island by assuring them that they should be provided for (according to their Lordships directions) assoon as the lands in the French part of St. Christophers were disposed off; but the delays that have happened in that matter make them so uneasy that they talk of removing to the Bahamas or other places. I shall still do what I can to divert them, but I very much dispair of being able to keep them long together on that Island; Some of them are already removed, and come to Antego with their family and effects and tis more than probable others will follow; so the desertion of that Island seems to be infallible; All my care shall be employed to prevent their going to the Dutch or other foreign Settlements; And therefore I shall chuse rather to encourage them to come to Antego and these Windward Islands than to think of using arguments to persuade them to stay where they are, being assured any attempt of that kind would prove prejudicial in regard they seem to be dispirited, and almost out of hopes of getting lands at St. Christophers; so that to mention it again to them (unless I could at the same time give them assurances when they might certainly expect to reap the fruits of my promisses) would rather hasten their departure to foreign settlements than be a means of staying them on that poor Island. (iv) These Islands have a pretty good trade with all the Northern Colonys but particularly New York, Pensilvania, Road Island and New England, to all which places are exported the growth and produce of these Islands especially rum and mallasses. The importations are chiefly boards staves joysts hoops planks shingles and corn with horses bread and flower. We have also a good trade with Ireland from whence we are supplyed with beef butter and certain linens allowed to be imported by virtue of an Act of Parliament made in Great Britain in the reign of her late Majesty Queen Anne; We have likewise a trade with Madera for wines, and with the coast of Africa for slaves. Our export to the first is inconsiderable, we not being allowed to carry the growth of our Island to that place; so that our wines are generally brought in vessels, which touch there as they come from Great Britain, Ireland or the Northern Colonys; our export for Africa is chiefly rum, and as to the rest of our trade it is altogether confined to Great Britain, from whence we receive our other supplys, and to which we transport the rest of our commodities, except what is carried off by illegal traders about which I shall speak more fully. (No. vi). (v) The branch in which these Islands have of late years been most sensibly affected has been the decay of their negro trade. The numbers that are now imported are not near what they were formerly which not only obliges the planters to give greater prices for them than what they heretofore did; but is a great hindrance to the improvement of the Sugar Plantations, by which means H. M. Revenue is not augmented as it might be, all which I conceive to be owing to that trades being managed by private persons, who always seek more their own benefit than the publick interest. I know this matter has been already debated in the Parlia ment of Great Britain, and much said thereon of both sides, but in my humble opinion, that trade must fail (and the Sugar Colonys consequently sink instead of encreasing) if it be not managed after a different manner than what it is at present, and for my own part I cannot think that it ever can be so well carryed on by private hands as by a Company. However I submit it to better judges, but if some expedient be not very speedily proposed for supplying us with negroes, these Islands and indeed all the Sugar Plantations will very soon find the fatal effects thereof. (vi) The Custom House Officers are strictly enjoined to be very diligent and circumspect in preventing all illegal trade by seizing whatever prohibited goods they can find; but nevertheless it is very much to be suspected that the French do drive a considerable clandestine trade in these Islands, and that they do not only supply the inhabitants with their commodities of brandy and claret but that the Dutch from St. Eustatia do even supply them with their negroes and dry goods, and that for payment thereof the sugars are sent down to them from these Islands especially St. Christophers, whereby H. M. is defrauded of his dutys and the prices, or at least the consumption of the English manufactures is considerably lessened; which cannot be prevented unless H. M. would be pleased to send out a couple of good sailing sloops to be constantly imployed in cruising about our shoars. (vii) This will be fully answered by the Naval Officers Lists of ships trading to and from these Islands, which I have ordered to be drawn, and shall take care to send them quarterly. (viii) There are no manufactures whatsoever setled in these Islands to my knowledge, but those of sugars rum mallasses cotton ginger and a little indigo. (ix) According to the information which I have from the Custom House Officers the produce of these Islands for about two years past have amounted to about £242,577. (x) Our foreign trade is extended to the French Windward Islands to which the English carry negroes horses provisions wines and other liquors in their sloops and other small vessels, and in return for what they there sell they bring sugars mallasses cotten coco, and other the produce of those Islands, which they sometimes put on board ships bound for Great Britain, and at other times they carry the same to St. Eustatia, and put it on board Dutch vessels. The trade among the French is altogether by stealth, from whence it happens that the English vessels and cargoes are often seized by sloops fitted out by the Government as Guard de Coasts, and condemnd. The English also have some trade to St. Thomas's Curracco, and other the Dutch Islands to which they likewise carry provisions wines and other liquors. The trade among the Dutch and Danes is publick and open, the returns from whence are small mules for cattle mills, and now and then some coco, formerly the traders brought a good deal of ready money from the French but they have since raised their coin which now prevents their bringing any of that specie from thence. (xi) I am not at present able to acquaint their Lordships when or by what means the foreign Plantations in these parts were first possessed, nor of the exact number of the inhabitants or the Militia in any of the Islands, but it is generally believed that in Martinico they have 5 or 6000 fighting men besides regular troops, which may be about 3 or 400 more. The produce of Martinico and the French Islands are sugars white and brown rum mallasses cotton ginger indigo and coco, but what may be the annual produce of each of them I cannot pretend to say. But Martinico far exceeds any one of these Islands in her annual produce being much larger than Barbados, and indeed it is believed makes as much yearly. Their trade is confined to France and their own Colonys, but nevertheless they have some times ships directly with provisions from Ireland, which vessels lade there and go for France or Holland. The Government consists of a General appointed by the King who has the chief care of the Civil and Military affaires, but matters of meum and tuum are determined by an Intendant who is likewise immediately appointed by the King. There are also Lt. Governors appointed by the King in each of the said Islands as likewise Lieutents. du Roy of each particular division or precinct, who takes the immediate care of the Military affaires within his said Division for which he has an allowance from the Crown. But what methods are used amongst them to encourage and improve the products, and the trade thereof I cannot pretend to advise not being truely acquainted therewith, nor indeed with the exact form of their Government but according to the best information I can gain every thing is done and transacted by the General and Council the Members whereof are likewise appointed by the King. Signed and dated as preceding. Endorsed, Recd. 14th, Read 17th Sept., 1719. 7 pp.
316 ii. Copy of grant of land in Basseterre to James Milliken. Signed, W. Hamilton. 18th Jan., 1716/17. Endorsed, Recd. 14th Sept., 1719. 1 p.
316 iii. Copy of grant of land in Basseterre to John Newth. 9th Nov., 1717. Signed and endorsed as preceding. ¾ p.
316 iv. Governor Hamilton's Licence of absence from Nevis for 6 months for Lawrence Brodbelt, to attend his affairs in Great Britain etc. 20th July, 1719. Signed and endorsed as preceding. Copy. ¾. p. [C.O. 152, 12. Nos. 155, 155 i—iv.]
July 20.
Antigua.
317. Governor Hamilton to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The occasion of my troubling your Lordships at this time is to lay before you a case that lately happened in this Island which has bred a question in which the Plantation trade is so much concerned that I should be glad to know your Lordships sentiments upon it and to receive some directions therein. A snow called the Edward and James came into one of the ports of this Island from Bristol where she took in some part of her cargo and cleared out at the Custom house there for Madeira, Antigua and St. Christophers, and that she was bound to those places only appears by the bills of loading which the Master had signed, from Bristol she went to Corke, and there taking in some Irish tallow cleared out for Curracoa. The Master when he arrived at Antigua came reported to me and went to enter at the Custom house and delivered to the Chief Officer a manifest of his cargo signed with his own hand wherein the Irish tallow was incerted, and it not appearing or being pretended that the same was shipped or laden in England the Officers made a seizure of the vessell and libelled her in the Admiralty Court upon the 6th Clause of the Statute 15 Car. 2d., cap. 7. My Lords as that Act forbids the importing of any European commodities into any of H. M. Plantations but what are laden in England the question was whether the bringing such goods into a port and making an entry of them at the Custom house were an importation but our Courts of Justice before whom these cases come are very much divided and at a loss to determine what is an importation within the meaning of that Act; In the case I have now mentioned the Court of Admiralty of Antigua, acquitted the vessell, and was not only of opinion that there was none but also that nothing would make an importation but bringing the goods on shoar or at least putting them over the side of the vessell. My Lords, if this be a just exposition of that Act and a true meaning of it I must observe to your Lordships that the trade designed to be prohibited by it is still left open and the remedy by far too feeble, for the mischief it was calculated to prevent, for if ships may come into the ports and harbours of the Plantations with such goods on board and there lye and unlade any other goods not prohibited as upon this way of construing the Act they very well may, and not incur any penalty till they are taken in the very fact of landing the prohibited goods it will very rarely happen that the Officers of the Customs can hinder or detect them. It can hardly be supposed which way they should but by putting waiters on board which would not only create infinite trouble and charge to the Crown, and as their present sallaries will not allow it this has not been yet and I doubt hardly will be put in practice unless they have a sufficient number of Officers appointed under them and paid by the Crown for that purpose, but if the end proposed might be by these means attained which is very much to be doubted it is not to my apprehension what the Parliament had in view, but they carried the remedy higher and thought of other means which would more effectually secure this branch of the English trade, and prove a stronger guard to the security of it which was to make every vessell liable to a forfeiture that should come into any of the ports of the Plantations with any commodities of the growth of Europe but what were laden in England and the subsequent laws to prevent any concealments enacting that the Master of every vessell should deliver upon his arrival an inventory of his loading to the Governor or such officer as he should appoint seems to be only with a purpose that the Governours might be at no loss to know when any such goods were brought into port, and that the Master or Owners might have the less hopes of carrying on such prohibited trade with impunity, and I can't see that this is any strained construction of the words of the Act which are (shall be imported into any lands etc.) since every port is by the Law deemed within the body of the County nor do I think it a remedy that has any thing very harsh or rigorous in it, for though there be no exceptions in the Act yet in natural reason and equity there must be an implied exception in cases of necessity where a ship is either forced in by stress of weather or an enemy or for want of sustenance and it fairly appears she is bound to another place, but though it should in some particulars be severe yet I believe it will be found that this is the only adequate remedy that could be provided etc. My Lords if our Judges have in any point mistaken the meaning of this Act it is of very great consequence to our trade not only that it should be reversed but that a clear exposition should be given of the Act in a judicial way, that our Courts here may be at no uncertainty for the future, and as the Officer who informed against this vessell has appealed from the sentence of the Court of Admiralty to H. M. in Council, I thought it my duty to apprize your Lordships of this case etc. Signed, W. Hamilton. Endorsed, Recd. 16th October, 1719, Read 27th June, 1721. 3 pp. [C.O. 152, 13. ff. 54–55 v.].