America and West Indies
December 1733, 16-31

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Institute of Historical Research

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Cecil Headlam and Arthur Percival Newton (editors)

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1939

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262-279

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'America and West Indies: December 1733, 16-31', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 40: 1733 (1939), pp. 262-279. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=79281 Date accessed: 01 August 2014.


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December 1733, 16-31

Dec. 17.
New York.
442. Governor Cosby to the Duke of Newcastle. Two days ago when I had sealed upp my other letters to your Grace, I recived one from Mr. Vandam incloseing articles of complaint against me. I have long since borne with patience the insults of that man both in writeing and in print wherein the Councle and the judges were likewise reflected on in a very extroardinary manner, but as those papers had an eye chiefly to the proceedings against him for half of ye salarry and perquisets recived by him as president etc., I was resolved to bear them in silence, expecting my justification in ye event of ye suit, but Vandam whose hopes could be built on nothing but popular clamour, finding all those appeals to ye people ineffecutal to provoke me to enter into a paper warr to justifye ye proceedings of the Court, my owne conduct, and H.M. authority, which ought not to be prostituted to ye censure of ye mob, resolved at last to complain of me to H.M., and as there is nothing so dear to me as my honour, nor anything I covet so much as H.M. gracious and favourable opinion of me, I thought it high time to justifye my actions, to the best of Kings etc. He accordingly gave the articles to the Council for their answer etc. v. following. Continues :—They have consider'd Van dam alone as the author of ye paper, it being signed by him tho' they know that he is incapable of every part of it except that of his inclinations to libel me, yett they wanted noe information to convince them that it was contrived and drawn by Morris, the late Chief justice, and Mr. Alexander, one of the Councel hinted at as ye person in ye articles that was not summoned to Councel tho liveing in town ; I own ye factt and think myself excusable since I had allways a full Councle without him, for not calling him who (as a Councler must have been a judge in ye cause upon an appeal) had readily as a lawyer undertaken ye defence of that suit without asking leave of ye Councile and ever since has been supposed to have had a principel hand in these printed libels ; your Grace will at first sight perceive that passion is ye prevailing if not ye only motive to these complaints, nor have they given their passions any bounds but suffer'd thier reason to be carryed aside with it or they would never have mentioned ye affair of ye Indian deed ; nor have they [sic] taken pains to represent as a crime an act of publick justice to a nation, etc. (v. 15th Dec.). The Council's letter is not in the least owing to my influence etc. The Courts of Equity in this Province want the utmost countenance and all the authority the King can give them, especially at a time when H.M. just powers to appoint them be openly denied, and in scandelous libels insolently branded with the names of despotick, abretary and illegal. P.S. I beg your Grace to be so good to me as to give my humb. service to ye duches and Miss Spence etc. After I had closed my letter etc. being all who are now in town except Vandam and Alexander unanimously and erenestly desier me to second thier address to your Grace for ye removal of Vandam from the Council Board not careing to sitt with him. I could not deny thier request and in truth I think they have all the reson in ye wourld to desiere it from ye groos reflections he has cast upon them etc. Hopes his Grace will move H.M. for his dismission and appoint Paul Richards in his stead, a very substantial merchant of excellent character, a very good gentleman born here etc. Signed, W. Cosby. Endorsed, R. 7th Febry. Holograph. 4 large pp. [C.O. 5, 1093. ff. 301, 302, 303, 304, 304 v. ; and (duplicate) 5, 1086. ff. 79, 80.]
Dec. 17.
New York.
443. Council of New York to the Duke of Newcastle. Abstract. H.E. communicated to us a letter and Heads of Complaint submitted to him by Mr. Rip Van Dam for our free and impartial opinion, and then withdrew. They have for some time been sensible that the most base and unworthy means have been used to traduce the Governor, Council, officers and all holding commissions here. But as they took such proceedings to be the effect of malice and disaffection in those who were deservedly discharged from employment, so they were willing to believe that an impotent faction supported by falsehood etc., would of itself disperse etc. In this they were encouraged by H.E.'s example, who as he had given just cause of offence to no man, demonstrated by his conduct that he was very slow to take any etc. Mr. Rip Van Dam is only the instrument of those who have placed him at their head. Reply to the Articles of Complaint (Dec. 15th, encl. i), though Mr. Van Dam has very unfairly shortened the time, this ship being to sail in a few hours. (i) The Governor has at all times when necessary communicated his Instructions to us, and never refused to do so. (ii) This Instruction is universally known and understood. (iii and iv) Governors have always done so, and the Council never interposed within our knowledge, but if he had promoted persons obnoxious or of ill fame, we should have thought it our duty to represent it to him. (v, vi) Governours have ever presided in Council, as the Minutes make apparent. Mr. Van Dam did the same. We always look upon ourselves as a Committee when H.E. is absent. Our debates are always free, and H.E. has made no innovation upon our rights etc. (vii) A falsehood so gross and so notorious that it can be no otherwise answered than by a positive contradiction to every part thereof. (viii, ix) The Council has been as full during H.E.'s administration as in times past. Several members live very remote. We and others when in town were always summoned, and had full time to deliberate upon all matters before us. We hope our resolutions are justified by their unanimity. H.E. never attempted to influence our votes by his command or authority. (x) All Governors have done the same, as well as in the several points preceding. (xi) We never heard the least rumour of any such violence. If any member of Assembly had ever received such treatment, the House would have complained etc. (xii, xiii) We remember only one instance of a bill presented to the Council which occasioned a debate, in which Mr. Van Dam with a great majority declared that he was against the new method, that the old forms ought to be observed, no inconvenience having ever arrisen from it. (xiv) We know not any such person. The only persons who have taken seats since H.E.'s arrival are Henry Lane and Daniel Hopkinson, of good position and high esteem etc. (xv) We endeavour to be as useful to H.M. and his people as we possibly can be. We wear no fetters upon our thoughts, words or actions, but enjoy all the libertys of Englishmen and the just priviledges of our stations. We have our share in making those acts by which all publick moneys are levyed. None of it is squandered, but all apply'd to the uses for which it is given. (xvi) The calumny in this and other articles as falsely as malitiously repeated is spoken to before ; but as to the other part of it, when this ordinance was made, it was first considered by all the gentlemen eminent in the law, and then reconsidered by all the Judges of the Supreme Court. Mr. Morris, late C.J., even before the making this ordinance, received several bills in the Court of Exchequer filed by the Attorney General by the direction of Archibald Kennedy, H.M. Receiver General. (xvii) Sittings out of term were appointed for the better dispatch of buisyness and the generall ease and benefitt of the subject and are universally esteemed as such, for we have but four terms in the year of no more than seven days continuance. These terms as well as the sittings have always been appointed by ordinance of Governour and Councill. It is too well known how much H.M. interest has suffered for want of proper methods to recover his quitt rents etc., and to the obtaining them H.E. and Councill had speciall regard in this appointment which as it was also intended to give relief on the Equity side, is a very evident proof that H.E. who is our Chancellor has no arbitrary design therein, or etc. he would certainly have kept that supreme power of determining in equity as intirely in his own hands as all his predecessors had done. But we believe and some of us know that H.E. having considered that he should necessarily pass many months in New Jersey, and a considerable time in his voyage to Albany, and that many suits of very old standing were still depending in the Court of Chancery for quitt rents which were a grievous burthen and expense to the people, he was inclined to ease them thereof by these more frequent sittings etc. Whatever Mr. Van Dam's own sufferings may be, they are the consequence of his own obstinacy, he having refused to answer a bill filed against him in this Court etc. He can appeal etc. (xviii) This article is of a very high nature. 'Tis a very heavy accusation against the Governor and Councill, against all the Judges, and against every person with whom H.M. has lodged the dispensation of law in this Province, 'tis an imputation of the grossest folly, ignorance and corruption to all these orders etc. No attempt has been made to overthrow the Common Law or tryall by jurys, nor is there a province in H.M. Dominions where the subject is in fuller enjoyment of all that happiness which we derive from the English Constitution etc. These accusation containe the highest violation of honour, justice and truth that ever was made by any of its inhabitants, for no other man would dare to assert that we had not the same course of appeal we ever had or that any one of our Judges has made one wrong step since that change which has given Mr. Van Dam and those turbulent spirits which actuate him so great and unreasonable displeasure. (xix) We never heard of any message first sent by H.E. to the late Chief Justice. We are told that after long neglect on Mr. Morris's side of that duty and respect which he ow'd to H.E., he did send Joseph Warrell Esq., a gentleman of the Law and of very fair character, to the Governour under pretence of making an apology for his omissions etc. We believe that no other message ever past between H.E. and Mr. Morris. (xx) Mr. Morris held his office at pleasure, and we do not think there is any man who wishes he had held it by a stronger tenure. (xxi) Mr. James De Lancey having withdrawn, the Council describe his high qualifications, whose promotion as Chief Justice gave the most general satisfaction, as does his continuance. He was second Judge and Mr. Philipse, a very worthy gentleman of plentifull fortune and good education, third, so that their advancement has been regular and of common usage etc. (xxii) When Mr. Van Dam was President, he received the whole salary and perquisites of Government. The majority of the Council consented, because he was thought to be a responsible man, and able to pay back the half, if H.M. did not allow him the whole. H.M. having declared, he should be entitled to no more than the half, the Board ordered him to refund the moiety to the Province Treasury, and upon his refusall the Attorney General was directed to file a bill against him in H.M. name for said salary and perquisites. We know of no just demands which Mr. Van Dam has upon H.E., if he had any, we verily believe that the Governour wo'd have discharged them. (xxiii, xxiv) The Governours have allways made such charges in the civil offices as to them seem'd meet, to him the people complain when they labour under any grievances or receive any hardships from the neighbouring Justices or Sherriffs, and 'tis very reasonable that H.E. should know these things and exercise this power. We have great reason to believe that such persons as he has promoted are fitt for their employments. If we knew anything to the contrary, we wo'd be the first to represent it to him. In the appointment of the Mayor and Sheriffs of the Citys and Countys of York and Albany, H.E. did name them in Councill as usuall. (xxv) Refer to Minute of Council. If the practice of surprising the Indians into purchases or deeds of that kind be admitted, that one Corporation of Albany wo'd have it in their power to starve, distres and drive from us the whole nation of the Mohauks whose friendship and neighbourhood this Province co'd very ill spare. (xxvi) We all know Mr. Cooper personally, and that he supported himself very handsomely before he had that office, and has behaved himself very well in it. Here is an Act which obliges the Sherriff to tender the oath of freehold to every voter for the choice of the Representatives if required. Severall Quakers did vote at the last election there, and Mr. Cooper as required by one of the candidates did tender the oath to some of them etc. ; they were not the most considerable men in the county. We are confident that the Governor had no views to the election when he appointed Mr. Cooper, there being no appearance of contest or opposition at that time etc. Mr. Forster is well known to us ; he has been for a long time Clerk of that County, he has taken the oaths to the late and present Kings, is a man of very good character etc. (xxviii-xxx) In this whole transaction H.E. took no one step but by the unanimous advice of the Council etc. We are well assured of the distress which those people were in, and have long been fully informed of the scarcity in Canada etc. Since we entred upon this affair, the Post from Boston is arrived and brings advice that the French sloop has been seen off Martha's Vineyard etc. and they have advice at Boston that unless the provisions put on board here do arrive safe at Cape Breton, the people there must perish. (xxxi-xxxiv) Upon considering these articles, we sent for the officers of the two Independent Companys garrisoned here, Capt. Richard Riggs, Andrew Nicholls, Capt. Lt., George Ingoldsby and Timothy Bagley, Lieutenants, who offered to depose on oath that their companies were now full and full cloathed, and the cloathing as good as ever it was etc., and that H.E., the last winter being exceedingly severe, had given over and above the usual cloathing surtout coats to both companies out of his own bounty etc. We have never heard of any complaints from the other two companies at Albany etc. The affair is to us astonishing beyond measure. We have been, while we traced Mr. Van Dam through a labarynth of detestable falsehoods, very often at a loss to believe that a man of his years could forge so many and so notorious scandalls, but etc., the resentment, malice and revenge of some of the wickedest of men are thrown into his assistance. No government or administration can please those restless minds. Nothing will satisfy them but that power which they joyfully would exercise to the destruction or ruin of their fellow subjects. We etc. are dayly more sensible of our happiness under H.E.'s administration. We know that the people are so too etc., though designing, nasty and ill men will allways have some blind converts etc. As we have etc. pray'd H.E. that we may be no longer obliged to sit with a man who has been guilty of defaming the Administration and thereby endeavouring to render H.M. Government odious to the people, we in most humble manner beseech your Grace that the said Rip Van Dam may no longer be continued in H.M. Councill etc., it being evident to us that he has prostituted his name to the seditious designs of a few disaffected and discontented persons etc. The preservation of the publick peace, the wellfare of this province, and that due sense which the people here ought to have of the blessings they enjoy by the settlement of the Crown in H.M. most illustrious house do at this juncture very much depend upon your Grace's reception of this our prayer etc. Signed, Geo. Clarke, Fra. Harison, Archd. Kennedy, James De Lancey, Phillip Cortland, Henry Lane. Endorsed, R. 7th Feb. Set out N.Y. Col. Docs. V. 979. 11 pp. Enclosed,
443. i. Mr. Rip Van Dam to Governor Cosby. N. York, 15th Dec, 1733. Abstract. Having ineffectally endeavoured to obtain common justice of H.E., is under the necessity of laying his case at the feet of H.M. most gracious Majesty, the fountain of Justice and the Father of his people etc. Hopes H.M. will not only direct that the free course of the law may be open to him, but take such notice of H.E.'s conduct that no person in his high station shall hereafter think himself exempt from, or above the laws. Although H.E. procured the determination of the Council against him unheard, and his plea was in like manner overruled by the then two junior Judges, who condemned him unheard, yet he gives him fair notice of his complaint to H.M., which he herewith communicates etc. If he disputes any matters of fact therein charged, they can be put past controversie, by his pointing them out, when the writer will be ready to appoint any reasonable time and place (excepting the Fort) to produce sufficient vouchers and witnesses to be examined on oath in H.E.'s presence, provided they be secured from suffering any way for appearing to be evidences etc. Signed, Rip Van Dam. Copy. 2½ pp.
443. ii. Copy of Mr. Rip Van Dam's Articles of Complaint etc. v. Dec. 15 encl. i.
443. iii. Mr. Warrell to the Council of New York. New York, Dec. 16, 1733. Abstract. In reply to their enquiry, knows of no messages sent by the Governor to Coll. Morris, but well remembers carrying an answer from the Governor to a message which on 18th March, Mr. Morris pressed him to deliver, although he endeavoured to avoid doing so. Circumstances described. Continues : Mr. Morris desired me to tell the Governor he acknowledged he had given Mr. Kennedy a caution how he voted in Councill for the passing an ordinance which (he was informed) was soon to come before 'em, for it was his opinion it was against law ; and that his calling witnesses to take notice he had given him such caution was intended only as banter, relateing to something that had happned between him and Mr. Kennedy before Mr. Montgomerie's time : that the business of the term (which began the Tuesday before) had taken up so much of his time that he had not had leisure to wait on the Governr., but if he pleas'd he wou'd in a short time, and then talk the matter over with him etc. He said something of an expedient he knew off, which he wou'd mention to H.E. as to an old act then subsisting etc. Continues : I deliver'd this message in six mints. after I recd. it to the Govr. who desir'd me to tell the Cheif Justice in answer, That he need not give himself any trouble about the affair, that he wou'd neither receive a visit or any message from him ; that he cou'd neither rely upon his integrity nor depend upon his judgement or opinion ; that he thought him a person not at all fitt to be trusted with any concerns relateing to the King : that ever since his comeing to the Governmt. he had treated him both as to his own person and as the King's representative, with slight, rudeness and impertinence, nor did he desire to see or hear any further of or from him. This answer I delivered before his son, Mr. Lewis Morris, and immediately brought back the Govr. the following reply. That it was never his intention to shew the least slight to the Govr. etc., and that he was heartily sorry that he shou'd conceive such an opinion of him etc. Apprehending that the Ch. Justice might make it publick (which he afterwards did makeing use of my name without my knowledge, and as an origl. message from the Governor, H.E.'s answer I mean) etc., I had the good luck to desire we might exchange copys of the answer and reply, which we did etc. Signed, J. Warrell. Addressed. Holograph. 2 pp.
443. iv. Deposition of William Forster, of Westchester. 30th April, 1733. On 17th March, at Mr. John Chambers's, New York, he heard Chief Justice Morris tell Mr. Archibald Kennedy that there was an ordinance before the Council for establishing the Courts, and that the Governor and Council had no right to establish Courts by ordinance, but that they ought to be established by the Legislature. He then called those present to witness that he had thus given his opinion to this member of Council, and that he would tell as many of them as he could meet with etc. Signed, William Forster. Copy. 1⅓ pp.
443. v. Deposition of Capt. Riggs and Lt. Nicol. 17th Dec., 1733. Their companies are now and have been ever since H.E.'s arrival full and complete. The names upon the muster rolls are those of effective men, except the names of officers' servants or where death or desertion has happned between the musters etc. Signed, R. Riggs, Andr. Nicol. ½ p.
443. vi. Minutes of Council of New York, relating to the provisioning of the French sloop. 16th and 19th Nov., 1733. Copy. 1½ pp.
443. vii. Minutes of Council, New York, relating to the Mohocks' deed. Albany, 12th Sept., 1733. Copy. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 1093. ff. 227-234, 235-239 v., 241, 242, 242 v., 244, 244 v. ; and (duplicate of covering letter, signed also by Dan. Horsmanden, who had "come to town since the original was sent") 5, 1086. ff. 61-63, 64-65, 66-68, 69, 69 v., 71-77 v.]
Dec. 18.
Whitehall.
444. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Commissioners of H.M. Treasury. Mr. Henry Popple having with great care and diligence drawn a map of the British Empire in America, which, from the assistance he has had from the best charts and actual surveys, is rendered infinitely more complete than any other now extant ; we are of opinion it might be for H.M. service, that one of the said maps should be sent to each of the Governments in America, and therefore we beg leave to propose to your Lordships, that we may be empowered to make so necessary an expence. [C.O. 324, 12. p. 6.]
Dec. 19.
Whitehall.
445. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Duke of Newcastle. Enclose following, "which all relate to the ill state of Jamaica with regard to the negroes in rebellion, weak condition of the inhabitants and the apprehensions they are under of a general insurrection of their slaves," etc., "that your Grace may be pleased to receive H.M. pleasure thereupon." Autograph signatures. 1 p. Enclosed,
445. i. Governor Hunter to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Aug. 25, 1733. Copy. 1 p.
445. ii. Copy of the confession of the negro Scyrus. Aug. 25, enclo. i. 1¼ pp.
445. iii. Governor Hunter to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Sept. 8, 1733. Copy. 4 pp.
445. iv.-vi. Copies of letters from Messrs. Swanton, Draper and Ashworth enclosed in No. iii.
445. vii. Governor and Council of Jamaica to the Council of Trade and Plantations, 17th Aug., 1733. Copy of Aug. 22, encl. i. 13 pp. [C.O. 137, 47. ff. 168, 170, 172, 174-176 v., 178, 178 v., 180-181, 182-188 ; and (covering letter only) 138, 17. p. 392.]
Dec. 20.
Nevis.
446. Governor Mathew to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Refers to letter of 5th Nov. announcing his arrival on 30th Oct. at Antigua. Continues :—I was then so very ill, I could not that day meet the Council etc., and the violent illness I have labour'd under since, made me incapable of doing much buisness. Repeats request for Councillors' licences of absence from H.M. entered in their Lordships' office. Continues :—The legislature of Antigua have made a settlement on me in addition to my sallary of a thousand pounds p. an. this currency. Tis hardly more than half what was settled on Lord Londonderry, but I left them wholly to themselves in it, and it was done in a most free, handsome, generous manner, and I am contented, and hope no grudgings will arrise on it hereafter, but I must hold it from your Lordships' favourably reporting on it to H.M. etc., for which I shall allways be under great obligations etc. Transmits the Act and Minutes of Council of Antigua 31st Oct. to 29th Novr. and of the Assembly 12th to 29th Novr. I have also enclos'd herewith a list of six persons whom I presume to recommend to your Lordships as fittest to fill up vacancys in the Council of Antigua and Nevis. As soon as I get to St. Christophers and Montserat, and have well informed myself, I shall send such lists for those two islands. By the death of Charles Bridgwater Esq., there is a vacancy in the Council of Nevis. By H.M. Order in Council I was directed to replace Charles Bridgewater junr. Esq. at that Board, upon his resigning his deputation from Wavell Smith Esqr. as Secretary etc. This I found he had done some months ago, I therefore swore him, and admitted him the day of my arrival here to his seat at that Board. It is reported here from the French Islands that they have made a concession of Sta. Cruz to the Danes. The negros in St. Johns rose upon their masters and have murderd about forty Christians, but are now, I am informed, pretty well reduced, not without much bloodshedd. Signed, William Mathew. Endorsed, Recd. 16th Feb., Read 7th March, 173 3/4. Holograph. 22/3 pp. Enclosed,
446. i. Persons recommended by Mr. Mathew to fill up vacancies in H.M. Council (1) of Antigua :—Charles Dunbar, Thomas Kerbye, Jacob Morgan, John Gunthorpe, Jonas Langford, Richard Oliver, Esqrs. (ii) of Nevis :— Thomas Pym, William Clarke, Thomas Herbert, Edward Abbot, John Woodley, John Williams junr., Esqrs. (iii) of St. Christophers :—John Williams Senr., Drewry Ottley senr., Augustus Boyd, John Bourryau, Benjamin Markham junr., William Woodley junr., Esqrs. (iv) of Montserrat :—Michael White, William Fenton senr., Peter Lee, John Roynon, Simeon Bouveron, Randal Fenton, Esqrs. Endorsed as preceding. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 20. ff. 1-3, 3A, 3A v.]
Dec. 20.
St. James's.
447. Order of King in Council. Approving representation of Council of Trade upon petition of Agatha Campbell, and ordering that the Governor of Nova Scotia cause to be paid all arrears of rent due to her etc. (v. 23rd Oct.) Concludes :—"And H.M. judging it for his service that the said quit rent should be purchased and the petitioner's claim or right of seignieurie extinguished, is hereby pleased to order that the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury do consider of a reasonable sum to be paid the petitioner for the purchase thereof, and in what manner such purchase may be effected, and report their opinion thereupon to H.M. at this Board." Signed, Temple Stanyan. Endorsed, Recd. 1st, Read 20th June, 1734. 3 pp. [C.O. 217, 7. ff. 20-21 v. ; and (duplicate of preceding, without concluding paragraph) 22-23 v.]
Dec. 20.
St. James's.
448. Order of King in Council. Referring enclosed to the Council of Trade and Plantations for their report. Signed, Temple Stanyan. Endorsed, Recd., Read Jan. 15, 173 3/4. 1⅓ pp. Enclosed,
448. i. Petition of Col. Samuel Horsey to the King in Council. Petitioner was principally concerned in procuring the surrender of Carolina from the Lords Proprietors etc. He was appointed a trustee in the Act of Parliament for executing the same. On 21st Dec., 1726, the Lords Proprietors signed a warrant to make him a Landgrave and to grant him 4 baronies, or 48,000 acres, which were to be annexed to the said honour of Landgrave. By the Act of Parliament for conveying the said Province to your Majesty, all legal grants made before that time were confirmed. While the surrender was carrying on, the Committee of the Privy Council enquired what lands had been granted by the Lords Proprietors, who, in answer, did among several others return this grant and mentioned it as not yet taken up by reason of the unsettled state of the Province. Petitioner did not attempt to take it up or insist upon it while he was concerned in the Treaty because he woud avoid doing anything which might give the least obstruction to the Proprietors' surrender, choosing rather to depend upon H.M. goodness etc. Petitioner was at considerable trouble and expence in solliciting and attending the settlement of this affair etc., for which he never had any consideration allowed him etc. Prays that a grant may be made to him of said lands, that he may pursue his intention of making a settlement etc. Signed, Saml. Horsey. Copy. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 363. ff. 11-12 v., 14 v.]
Dec. 20.
St. James's.
449. Order of King in Council. Approving representation of Council of Trade and appointing Henry Peers junr. to the Council of Barbados in the room of William Leslie decd. etc. Signed, Temple Stanyan. Endorsed, Recd. 1st, Read 20th June, 1734. 1¾ pp. [C.O. 28, 24. ff. 44, 44 v., 51 v.]
Dec. 20.
St. James's.
450. Order of King in Council. Approving representation of Council of Trade and confirming act of Barbados for the better support of His Excellency etc. Signed and endorsed as preceding. 1¼ pp. [C.O. 28, 24. ff. 46, 46 v., 49 v.]
Dec. 20.
Whitehall.
451. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Recommend Abraham Payne junr. for the Council of St. Xtophers, in the room of Colo. Peter Soulegre who, now residing in London, desires to resign his seat. [C.O. 153, 15. p. 241.]
Dec. 20. 452. Extracts of Minutes of Council of Barbados, 21st Sept., 1731 and 4th Jan., 1732/3 relating to Mr. Barwick assuming the Government as President, and Mr. Dottin the same, upon his death. Endorsed, Recd., Read 20th Dec., 1733. Copy. Certified by James Mytton, Secretary and signed, Howe. 7 pp. [C.O. 28, 23. ff. 127, 128-130 v., 131 v.]
Dec. 21. 453. John Rindge to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Prays for answer of the Agent for the Massachusetts Bay relating to the boundary with N. Hampshire, in pursuance the Board's order 31st May last (q.v.), or, if he has not put in such answer, that the Board's order may be speedily enforced etc. Signed, Ferd. John Paris, for the Memorialist. Endorsed, Recd. 21st Dec., 1733, Read 16th Jan., 1734. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 876. ff. 3, 8 v.]
Dec. 24. 454. Extract of letter from Lt. Gov. Dunbar to Mr. Popple. In my former letters, I omitted acquainting my Lords how the act is evaded for preservation of the pine trees, by shipping off large peices a little squared, by which they go under the denomination of baulks, tho' 80 or 100 feet long, and above 30 inches diameter. The like has been sent from hence to the Spanish West Indies, and large masts too, for which bonds have been taken by the Deputy Collector here, according to the Act of Parliament, but the bondsmen worth nothing, and all these things under the knowledge and agency of Mr. Husk, the Deputy Collector, in whose house the mercht. who ship'd and carryed them off lodg'd at the same time. I have represented this to Governor Belcher, and the Survyr. Generall of the Customs, the latter I beleive is very hearty with me in enquiring and preventing such practices etc., an attempt has been made on me for connivance, by a person telling me, I might get 500 dollars pr. ann. for so doing, and when I resented it, he ask'd pardon. Copy. 1½ pp. [C.O. 5, 877. ff. 1, 1 v.]
Dec. 24.
Jamaica.
455. Governor Hunter to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Has given assent to enclosed acts, which he will transmit as soon as they can be got ready. At their own earnest desire he prorogued the Assembly from 16th Nov. to 23rd Jan. next. Continues :—The bill for erecting barracks in the Eastern division where they are most necessary miscarry'd by means of some amendments made to it by the Council to which the Assembly disagree'd, and the Council adher'd ; that for raising of partys, cutting a road and building a barrack near to the place call'd Delamilliere's Ambush when duely executed, which indeed goes on but slowly, will in the mean time enable us to make a defensive war against the rebels, and in time to come facilitate such attempts as the country can be induc'd to enter upon for their extirpation. The detachment from the two Independent Companys and the remains of the partys posted at the Brest Work, and sending frequent patroles to all the avenues have kept the slaves at a bay, and cover'd the frontiers pritty well hitherto, so that they have attempted nothing of moment in these parts since our last miscarriage, but to the westward in Hanover parish where we least expected it, they have destroy'd a plantation belonging to one Knowles, a minor, burnt the works and the canes, but the plantation slaves escap'd by flight. I have us'd all endeavours in my power toward the making their militia better and more serviceable, which I am afraid is but labour in vain, the foot consisting chiefly of hir'd servants and free negros who have no obligations either of honor or interest for the defence of their master's propertys. I am therefore about encreasing the numbers of horse, such consisting of men that have some property of their own and may be with more expedition sent from one place to an other in case of apprehensions from abroad ; I cannot in duty forbear giving your Lordships my opinion that in any such event this island is in a very defenceless condition, considering the number of declar'd enemys in the mountains and conceal'd ones else where. There are still two vacancys in Council by means of the resignation of Mr. Stout and the death of Mr. John Moore. It would be of great ease and use to the Government if such were appointed to supply vacancys there as by their near residence are inabled to attend a Council upon a summons, for which reason I humbly take leave to recommend Rose Fuller and Thomas Barritt, Esqrs. to such vacancys as already are or may hereafter fall out, having formerly recommended William Gordon, Esq. to the first. Over the belly of the greatest opposition I have made a shift to finish the ramparts of the Fort of Titchfield Point at Port Antonio, and we are about preparing and laying in of materials for the barrack which is close [to] it. The ramparts are of square stone inside and out, fill'd with limestone and morter and a very fine piece of work and when that is finish'd and the orders of the Admiralty for the security of Lynche's Island executed, in my opinion it will prove the surest hold H.M. has of this island as well as the most convenient fort and safe harbour for H.M. ships, either to intercept or annoy a foreign enemy when it shall be our misfortune to have any such. I beg leave to assure your Lordps. that whilst I remain here nothing shall be omitted for H.M. service and the safety of this island in the power of a man who has long strugled, and must continue so to do with unreasonable opposition and mistaken interest of a very vicious faction etc. Signed, Ro. Hunter. Endorsed, Recd., Read 21st March, 173 3/4. 3½ pp. Enclosed,
455. i. List of Acts of Jamaica, passed 16th Nov., 1733 : (i) for dividing the island into the Eastern and Western divisions etc., erecting barracks in the Western division, cutting roads therein, and raising and fitting out parties, for the more speedy and effectual suppressing the rebellious and runaway negroes ; (ii) for lessening the quorum appointed by the act for the more speedy and effectual collecting the publick debts etc. ; (iii) for cutting a road from the Brest Work and building a defensible house at or near the place Captain De La Millier was ambushed, and for prohibiting the sale of rum at Titchfield ; (iv) to prevent the making throwing or firing of squibs, serpents, rockets or other fireworks ; (v) to establish the title of John Stewart to Fort House in St. Jago de la Vega etc. ¾ p. [C.O. 137, 21. ff. 16-18 v.]
Dec. 24.
Jamaica.
456. Governor Hunter to the Duke of Newcastle. The inclos'd copie of mine of this date to the Lords of Trade will let your Grace into the present state of affairs here in a great measure, so repetition is needless. I can not without breach of duty conceal my opinion that this island is in a very defenceless condition in case of a war. The slaves in rebellion, who give us work enough, in that event are not the most dangerous ; here are men of desperate fortunes and more desperate principles who have too much influence on the majority, are gaping after change, and if I may judge from their pass'd conduct would readily joyn with any such. I can make no doubt but due care will be had of an island of that importance if there be any such apprehensions as are here industriously spread abroad. Your Grace may depend upon my doing what is in my power for H.M. service whilst I remain in the station with which he has honor'd me etc. Signed, Ro. Hunter. Endorsed, R. 21 March. 1½ pp. Enclosed,
456. i., ii. Duplicates of preceding letter and enclosure. [C.O. 137, 54. ff. 376, 376 v., 377 v.-380 ; and (endorsed, R. 14th May) 137, 55. ff. 128, 128 v., 129 v., 130, 132-133 v.]
Dec. 25. 457. Office expenses of the Board of Trade, Michaelmas— Christmas. See Journal of Council. Endorsed, Recd. Read 26 Dec., 1733. 6 pp. [C.O. 388, 80. ff. 85, 86-87 v., 88 v.-90 v.]
Dec. 26.
Whitehall.
458. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury. Request payment of petty expences of the Office, Michaelmas to Christmas, 1733, amounting to £361 14s. 10¼d., and of Officers' salaries, £287 10s. [C.O. 389, 37. pp. 350, 351.]
Dec. 29.
Jamca.
459. Governor Hunter to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Yesterday James Laws Esqr. of the Council here dy'd, so there are three seats vacant there, etc. Repeats former recommendation of Messrs. Gordon, Fuller and Barrett to supply vacancies (v. Dec. 24 etc.). Concludes : Their residence near to the seat of Government is a circumstance of weight for such as live at a distance seldom attend and we are frequently at a losse for a quorum in sudden emergencys and often dureing the sessions of Assembly. Signed, Ro. Hunter. Endorsed, Recd., Read 21st March, 173 3/4. Holograph. ¾ p. [C.O. 137, 21. ff. 19, 24 v.]
Dec. 29.
Jamca.
460. Governor Hunter to the Duke of Newcastle. Yesterday James Laws Esq. one of the Council here dy'd universally regrated. As the dormant commission for the command here in case of my demise or absence granted to him to the general satisfaction now ceases, I most humbly beg leave to intreat your Grace to recommend to His Majty. Richard Mill Esqr. one of the Councill here for such another commission. He is a person every way the best qualify'd of any on this side for such a station, being a man of resolution and temper, fine parts and long experience, with great modesty and unalterable zeal and affection to His Majty.'s person and government. I protest solemnly to your Grace that I have no other end or view in this recommendation, then his Matys. service in preventing confusion here in the event abovemention'd, for Mr. Ayscough is far from being in any maner qualify'd for such a trust, and is strictly link'd with that perverse faction who are apparently for running matters into confusion here. I think this matter of great importance to His Matys. service in this island and shall say no more but that I am with the greatest honor, My Lord, Your Grace's most faithfull and most humble servant, Signed, Ro. Hunter. Endorsed, R. 21 March. Holograph. 1 p. [C.O. 137, 54. ff. 382, 383 v. ; and (endorsed, R. 14th May) 137, 55. ff. 134, 134 v., 135 v.]
Dec. 31.
St. James's
461. H.M. Warrant appointing Henry Peers junr. to the Council of Barbados, in the room of William Leslie decd. Copy. [C.O. 324, 36. p. 429.]
[1731-3.] 462. Abstract of letters from Governor Hunter, 1731-1733. 28 pp. [C.O. 137, 47. ff. 191-205 v.]
[? 1733.] 463. Two letters to Mr. [? Horatio] Walpole, submitted to the Duke of Newcastle, containing criticisms of a pamphlet entitled The State of the Island of Jamaica, addressed to a Member of Parliament. The writer urges the "necessitty there is, that not only a revenue be settled equal to the annual expence of the Government, but also a provision be made by some new laws for the better recovery of just debts, and the better peopling and settling of the island, at the same time that the body of laws are re-enacted or confirmed by the Crown." For this reason he thinks it a good thing that the bill which his late Majesty directed to be transmitted to the Governor for making the laws of that island perpetual, was rejected by the Assembly. For if it had been passed, it would probably never have been in the power of the Crown to put the affairs of Jamaica upon a solid and lasting foundation ; for the revenue which was thereby to have been given was £3000 a year too little for the expence of the government : acts would have been made perpetual, which are destructive of the trade and better settlement thereof by preventing the recovery of just debts, and by not making the estates of deceased persons liable to the payment of debts, or the not extending of lands, for the satisfaction of creditors, all which points Governors were instructed to recommend to the Assemblies to remedy, but were as often refused. Had the bill passed, the Crown would have been prohibited from raising the salary of the Governor (which has been found necessary in the course of some years, from £1000 to £2500), or from giving a salary to a Lt. Governor, or increasing that of the Chief Justice etc. The Assembly acted very much against the interest and safety of the island in refusing to make a perpetual provision for the Two Independent Companies. Without them, the inhabitants must do duty in the forts, and the island lose the advantage of the soldiers' British pay spent in it. As the white inhabitants are not half the number they were 25 years ago, and the negroes increased more than one third, there is an absolute necessity of continuing them, until there is double the number of white inhabitants. The Assembly's reasons for rejecting that bill, however, was because of the clause in it for a perpetual provision of £2000 a year for the two Independent Companies. If it is true that Mr. Hunter has been assured by some gentlemen of Jamaica, who are in England, that the people, that is the leaders in Assembly there, will readily pass the very bill, word for word, that was sent from hence to Jamaica, and was so lately rejected by an Assembly, provided the clause in it, relating to soldiers be left out, in consequence of assurances that he is at liberty by his Instructions to pass a bill so prepared, when offered to him by an Assembly for his assent. Points out the danger of leaving Governor Hunter with the power thus to perpetuate all the acts of Assembly, without its being certain that the revenue proposed to be granted will be sufficient for the annual expence of the Government. Thinks the revenue voted in 1723, will not answer the expence of Government, and computed at that time that the estimate of expences (£3000) in that bill was too low by £10,000 (including Additional pay (£2000) for the Independent Companies). Continues :—"I heartily wish, for the honour and ease of the Crown, the peace and prosperity of the inhabitants of Jamaica, the benefite and advantage of the traders to that island, and the general interest of the people of Great Britain, that the people of Jamaica had a body of laws given them by the Crown, and H.M. a revenue settled equal to the annual expence of his Government in that island" etc. Is surprised that so many Assemblies have failed to take the necessary steps for obtaining the one by settling the other. Thinks the best ways of raising the necessary money are duties on wines, quit rents and a deficiency tax. Nobody can say that the money thereby raised in this way "will be a grievous tax upon the inhabitants of this island, whose trade is so very considerable and the produce of whose estates is so very great. Were only the gentlemen who have estates and plantations in Jamaica to pay this sum of £14,000 per annum, it would be far short of what the gentlemen of any other of H.M. Colonies pay to the support of their Governments, £14,000 per annum being not three per cent on the value of the produce of their estates, whereas in the other sugar Colonies they raise double three per cent besides the four and a half per cent duty. Though the value of the produce of Jamaica in sugar is now near treble what it was at the Revolution, and the number of negroes more than double, yet white people in the island bearing arms are not so many by some thousands. This is because before the Revolution the plantations were very small ones, and not any one planter had as many negroes as every owner of a sugar plantation has now. The increased production has not been occasioned by many new families settling, but by the descendants of those who had settlements before the Revolution, either purchasing the small plantations, or runs of land near them, or settling the lands which their fathers had early obtained by grants from the Crown. Also the act whereby every owner was obliged to keep a white servant to every ten negroes, has been replaced by acts obliging him to keep first a white man to every twenty and then a white man or woman to every thirty negroes only etc. Without date, signature or endorsement. 18 pp., including one on which the writer explains that a first letter was prepared "in December last" at the instance of Mr. Walpole, upon the objection which the writer had made whilst he was in France to the pamphlet entituled "A State of Jamaica" etc. [C.O. 137, 54. ff. 122-125, 126, 128-133.]
1733. 464. The Case of Anthony Cracherode and other Patent Officers of Barbados. A Committee of Council having been appointed by Governor Lord Howe (Oct. 1733) to examine the fees taken by the several officers, H.E. observed, on their report, that many fees were taken which there was no law for, and many exceeded what the law allowed, and recommended that a new Act should be passed by the Assembly (6th Nov.). Cracherode's patent as Chief Clerk and Registrar in the Chancery and Clerk of the Crown etc. 1714, granted him all such fees etc. as his predecessor received. He therefore prays that in any new act that the old table of fees hung up in his office in 1714 and many years before may be established, no fault having hitherto been found with them. Without date, signature or endorsement. 3¼ pp. [C.O. 28, 45. ff. 212-213 v.]
1733. 465. The case of Francis Whitworth, Secretary of Barbados, Secretary to the Governor and the Governor and Council and Clerk of the Courts. As preceding. The act sent up by the Assembly being in itself absurd and unreasonable and greatly prejudicial to Whitworth's patent, he petitioned (6th Dec.) the Assembly to be heard by his Counsel before it was passed, but was denied, unless his Counsel would then speak to it, which was done, but without effect. Whereupon a similar petition was preferred to H.E. in Council, but no further day could be obtained, and Counsel was obliged to speak to it instantly, with as little success. Hopes that no hardships will be suffered to be put on him by the said bill, but on the contrary that some method may be found out for payment to him for the several public services by him done in the execution of his said offices, for which for some years past he has received no payment, tho by H.M. Order in Council, 15th Augt., 1728, it has been recommended to the Assembly, and though on examination from time to time allowances have been made and orders given by the Council of the Island for doing the same. By this intended law no allowance is made, nor fee established for the public services of his office, though there is no salary annexed to it, and he has to pay a great rent for his office and employ Clerks and Deputies and constantly to attend the Governor and Council, take minutes and transcribe, transmit and publish all acts etc., and find stationery for the Council etc. He has not received one penny for all the said services for some years, but instead by this intended law they so curtail the fees of his office for private business, that it will make it impossible for him to find persons to execute said offices. It really seems designed to render it so burthensome to those to whom H.M. has been pleased to grant his patents that they may be obliged to throw them up. Throughout this whole proceeding it does not appear wherein H.M. Instructions to be aiding his Patent Officers have been pursued ; but rather seems that in every article of this intended law His royal prerogative is struck at, particularly in the 2nd clause requiring all officers and deputies (except Judges etc.) to find such security as the Governor and Council shall think proper, and for neglect or refusal to do so, the Governor to remove such officer and appoint any other person in his place. From which it is apprehended the Governor and Council will have a negative voice on any officer H.M. shall appoint, for they may demand such security as neither the office requires nor the officer is able to give. The last clause enacts that in case any new business shall arise in any of the offices, the respective officer shall apply to the Legislature to set proper fees, and if he presume to exact fees before doing so, the bond of security shall be put in suit etc., in which case the penalty might exceed all measure etc. 8½ pp. [C.O. 28, 45. ff. 214-218.]
[1733.] 466. Extract of letters from James Mytton, Secretary of Barbados, Samuel Wadeson, Deputy Clerk of the Courts, and Robert Warren, Clerk of the Assembly, Nov., 1733—Jan., 1733, on the injustice of the above act. 9¼ pp. [C.O. 28, 45. ff. 219-223 v.]
After 1728. 467. Petition of John Yeamans to the Duke of Newcastle. Governor Lord Londonderry granted a Commission to John Osborne, 12th Sept., 1728, appointing him Lt. Governor of Montserrat in the room of Paul George decd. He has resided there ever since at considerable expence. Prays for H.M. warrant for the payment of his whole salary as Lt. Govr. from the date of his commission to the time of his being superseded here by H.M., and for such part of his salary from that time as has been usual in like cases, till notice thereof can arrive at Montserrat. Without date. 1 p. [C.O. 175, 1. No. 2.]
1733. 468. Drafts of Instructions for Charles Stewart, Rear Admiral of the White Squadron now going to the Mediterranean etc. Endorsed, Foul, not used. 23 pp. [C.O. 28, 40. No. 24.]
After [? 1732.] 469. Mr. Fitzroy to the Duke of Newcastle. Requests him to obtain a Commission under the Great Seal for Mr. Warrell to act by himself or Deputy as Attorney General of New Jersey, quam diu se bene gesserit. He has Col. Cosby's Commission for that office. There are many precedents for such Commissions etc. Signed, Aug. Fitzroy. Without date. Holograph. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 980. No. 49.]
[? 1733.] 470. Draft of Additional Instruction to Governor Cosby, relating to moieties of salary and perquisites to be paid to him and Mr. Rip Van Dam until his arrival in the Government. 6¼ pp. [C.O. 5, 1093. ff. 250-253.]
[1733-1754.] 471. Index of Correspondence relating to Jamaica. [C.O. 326, 40.]
1733. 472. Correspondence of Commandants of Essequibo with the Directors of the Dutch West India Company. [C.O. 116, 26.]