America and West Indies: May 1710, 16-31

Pages 102-107

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 25, 1710-1711. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1924.

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May 1710, 16-31

May 16.
239. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Earl of Sunderland. Enclose Address from Jamaica concerning duties on prize goods (v. March 25.) By the second clause of the Act for the encouragement of the trade to America it is enacted "that the officers and seamen of every vessell of war shall have the sole interest and property in every ship, vessell, good and merchandize they shall take in any part of America, (being first adjudged lawfull prize in any of H.M. Courts of Admiralty, and subject to the Customs and duties payable to H.M. as if the same had been first imported to any part of Great Britain and from thence exported for and in respect of all such goods and merchandize) to be divided in such manner as H.M., her heirs and successors shall think fit to order and direct." The next clause lays the same duties upon prizes taken by privateers, which duties are the same as would remain in this Kingdom had the goods been imported here, and re-exported with an allowance of the drawback. The Collector of Jamaica, pursuant to Instructions from the Commissioners of H.M. Customs here, has demanded the said duties upon such prizes as have been brought into that Island. These duties with those levied and appropriated to the support of that Government by an Act of that Island for raising an additional duty of import, etc., do frequently exceed the value of the said prize goods as sold there, and where they do not exceed such value, yet what remains to the captors, after the deduction of the said duties is so small that the privateers always make losing voyages. Refer to enclosures i. ii. March 25, and observe upon the instances there given of cocoa, brandies and Spanish wines, that in the first case the papers [?=Captors] lost £1912 11s. 3d., in the next they gained £151 11s. 3¾d., out of which is to be deducted the seamen's wages. and victualls; and in the last they gained but £13 18s. 3d. Continue:—These are the hardships complained of in the Address (March 25), which have occasioned the privateers and seamen to desert that Island to such a degree, that of 3000 registred seamen, who [? there] were not lately a sufficient number remaining to man two ships, when some French privateers appeared before the Island. Another ill consequence of this desertion of the seamen, is that about 900 of them are gone to the Sambala's on the coast of Carthagena. To prevent the damage our trade on that coast might suffer from those people, who in time may grow powerfull in those parts, the Governor of Jamaica by advice of the Council issued a Proclamation promising H.M. pardon to such as would return, which Proclamation having been dispersed among them, their answer was, that their crimes did not keep them from Jamaica, but the want of means to subsist there when they should return. And some of them who did come in upon that Proclamation are since returned to the Sambala's. We are inform'd by the Commissioners of H.M. Customs that the British duties upon Prize goods payable in any of our American Plantations are to be applied to the respective funds granted by the several Acts of Parliament passed here, so that we do not see how any relief can be given to the captors of prizes, in relation to those duties, but by authority of Parliament. As for the Island duties charged upon prize goods by an Act of Assembly lately passed there, we find that for several years before the passing of the said American Act, the like duties (or rather greater in some particulars) have been annually granted for the necessary support of that Government, therefore we cannot propose that those duties should be taken off, unless we were satisfyed that the Island is in a condition to substitute others in lieu thereof. But in regard the security of that Island and the trade in those parts from any insults of the enemy is of very great consequence to the Trade of this Kingdome, we are humbly of opinion that if H.M. shall think fit a sufficient squadron of ships of war be imployed in that service, it may answer the before-mentioned purposes till a further provision shall be made either by some law to be passed here or in Jamaica for their relief, against the present hardships and dangers they lye under, by so great a desertion of their privateers and seafaring men. [C.O. 138, 13. pp. 129–134; and 137, 51. No. 21.]
May 16.
240. Col. Nicholson to [?]. I returne you a thousand thanks for all your extraordinary civilitys and favours to me, and I shall endeavour to make the New Englanders sencible of ye extraordinary service you have don them in managing this affaire and what great trouble and pains you have took and therefore I hope in God they will not be ungratefull to you. Encloses letter to Mr. Secretary Walpole. Refers to officers going with him, etc. Signed, Fr. Nicholson. 1¾ pp. Enclosed,
240. i. List of the Officers sent by the Admiralty to H.M.S. Dragon. Copy. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 9. Nos. 57, 58.]
May 16.
241. Col. Nicholson to [?Mr. Secretary Pringle. v. May 22]. I wrote to you ye 12th instant. On ye 14th early in ye morning wee sailed, but ye wind coming contrary we returned that night. I send you a paper wch. I had from Capt. Cock. This account seems to confirme ye other which I sent you, and makes me believe that the French are gon for Newfoundland, Canada and Port Royall, so I hope that the order about H.M. men of warr gon to Newfoundland will be sent after us. Refers to enclosures. By the establishment we should have had 500 marines besides ye officers. But by ye muster-rolls there is no more then 397. Those on board H.M.S. Draggon and Falmouth our two convoys are parte of their ships companys. Capt. Riddle, of ye Falmouth told me his men are ill cloathed, and he had 40 at first. I hope that directions will be given that ye marines may be made up 500 compleat. The affair about ye Indian Chappell house and fort I hope is fully adjusted before this, and that the two ministers are appointed to goe thither for wth. submission I take this to be of ye last consequence towards keeping the Indians in H.M. interest. I begg the humblest of my duty to my Lord Sunderland, to whom I desire you would communicate these affairs. I am heartily sorry that ye wind is contrary, for the summer draws on apace and they will be very impatient in New England to have us there, to wch. place pray God send us safe, because I hope it will be for H.M. interest and service, etc. Signed, Fr. Nicholson. Enclosed,
241. i. A particular of subsistance for the detachment of marines ordered upon the Expedition. Pay office, April 7, 1710. Copy. 1 p.
241. ii. List of Marines on board H.M.S. Draggon and Falmouth. Copy. 1 p.
241. iii. Capt. Cock, H.M.S. Medway, to Col. Nicholson. Ship Medway. The 8th day of May spoke with a Dutch dogger who had then been four days from Rochell and reported ye day before he sailed 5 men of warr ye biggest 64 guns ye least of 24 with about 40 saile of merchant ships and 1500 soldiers sailed out of that port and it was thought there they were bound to Brazill. Copy. ¾ p.
241. iv. Muster-roll of officers and men of the regiments ordered for the Expedition. Total, 47 officers, 397 men. Note subjoined by Col. Nicholson:—Nigh halfe of these marines are new raised men. So 'tis to be feared that they will be sickly in their passage and probably some dye, and they can't in accon be relyed upon as men that have been in action. Signed, Fr. Nicholson. 1p. [C.O. 5, 9. Nos. 55, 56, 59–61.]
[May 17.] 242. Extracts of two letters June 19 and Nov. 29, 1709, from Alexander Skene, relating to Governor Crowe's refusal to obey H.M. Orders in restoring him to the full exercise of his office. cf. March 30 supra. Signed, Row. Tryon. Endorsed, Recd. Read May 17, 1710. 1½ pp. [C.O. 28, 13. No. 25.]
May 17.
243. Council of Trade and Plantations to Lt. Governor Spotswood. H.M.S. Tryton's Prize is ordered to Virginia, etc. cf. April 26. [C.O. 5, 1363. p. 182.]
May 17.
244. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Earl of Sunderland. Refer to letter of the Merchants of Bristol relating to the securing of Newfoundland in the Treaty of Peace. Upon which we observe, in addition to our Representation of June 2, that before the Island of Newfoundland, over against and 20 leagues distance from Cape Raze lies the Great Bank, in length about 120 leagues and in breadth 25, about which are several small Islands. On this Bank, and round these Islands, the French employ some hundreds of fishing ships yearly, each whereof make two, some three voyages a year, whereas H.M. subjects cannot fish upon the Island of Newfoundland above 3 months in a year. This is a great addition to the French Naval strength, by the increase of seamen; and a great diminution of our trade. Your Lordship will please to lay this before H.M. for her pleasure therein. [C.O. 195, 5. pp. 144, 145.]
May 19.
245. Richard Oglethorp to [?the Earl of Sunderland]. I formerly roate to Sir C. Hedges and Judge Bramson, Esq., given them a smale relation of some piratts and trayders with them, therefore take leave to acquint your Lordship with itt and Henry Boyle, Esq., etc. Repeats C.S.P. 1706. No. 53. q.v., with following variations, additions. Peter Smith at St. Thomas does supply the French att Martinecoe all this warr, which as been ye gratest occation of ye French privettiers taken soe many of our vessell of from Barbados and these Leward Island. They dayly carry news and stores to ye enemy and where our men of warr are, and what fleets are in these parts. Capt. Rogers did bring ye King's son of Nuttall by name Jack Nuttall, and left in his rome three white men, and they have been there this twelve year, and a considerable rich quantitie of Est Indian goods with them, and ye King will not lett them come away tell ye said Jack Nuttall his sent back, the said Jack is att St. Domingoe amongest ye French, they tooke him in there, and made him a slave, and I have been in a flagg of Truce to Martinecoe for him butt cannot gett him as yett, if itt was peceable times, he might be soon gott for money. Nuttall his beyond Malagascer, and are a free pepol, and a great place for teeth to trayd for. [Leonard traded with Capt. Kidd], knowing that there was a man of warr there to sea for him not long before and lett the boate goe of without secureing her, and all the countrey being then in armes there, etc., etc. Signed, Rich. Oglethorp. Addressed The Rt. Hon. the Secretary of State." Endorsed, Recd. 12th, Read 25th Aug., 1710. 3 pp. [C.O. 152, 42. No. 32.]
May 22.
On board H.M.S.
Draggon, 100 leagues of ye Land's End.
246. Genll. Nicholson to Mr. Secy. Pringle. I hope effectuall orders are given concerning what I presumed to write to you (May 16), they being of very great consequence to H.M. Service, and I hope my Lord Sunderland will think so too, etc. P.S. This is designed by H.M.S. Colchester, who came out with us as likewise ye Essex and Lichfield. Signed, Fr. Nicholson. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 9. No. 62.]
May 24.
247. Mr. Popple to Lt. Governor Spotswood. Encloses list of fees to be taken by officers of the Admiralty in Virginia, upon condemnation of a Prize there, which should have been delivered with his Instructions. [C.O. 5, 1363. p. 183.]
May 25. 248. Deposition of Joseph Blake, one of the Proprietors of Tobago, and late Secretary to the Undertakers for setling the same. The book now produced by Edward Couley, wherein is entred the names and places of abode of diverse persons who were to go over in the first expedition in order to begin a settlement on the said Island, of which he was chosen Governour, is the hand-writing of William Jacobs, Deponent's late Clerk, etc., and has had no additions or alterations since, etc. Signed, Jos. Blake. Endorsed, Recd. Read May 25, 1710. ½ p. [C.O. 28, 13. No. 27.]
May 26. 249. Mr. Campbell to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Memorial relating to his petition. Signed, Ja. Campbell. Endorsed, Recd. Read May 26, 1710. 17 pp. [C.O. 194, 4. No. 135.]
[May 26.] 250. Merchants of Bydeford trading to Newfoundland, to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Not doubting but the late glorious successes of his Grace the Duke of Marleborough will oblige the French King to sue in earnest for a peace, and the principle advantage expected by Great Brittain being the entire restoring the Coloney of Newfoundland, pray that the French King may be obliged entirely to restore the whole countrey and islands, and his subjects totally debarred from all manner of trade thereunto, etc. Signed, John Clifton, Mayor, and 55 others. Endorsed, Recd. Read May 26, 1710. 1p. Enclosed,
250. i. Considerations on the Trade to Newfoundland. The trade in the reign of James I was in a very flourishing condition, and then intirely, without a rival, possessed and enjoyed by the English. Quote Letters Patent Charles I. Feb. 10, 1634. About this time the French first began to fish at Newfoundland, and obtain'd liberty from Charles I for so doing, and as an acknowledgment of our right agreed to pay 5 p.c. from all ships coming thither. Their allotment for curing fish was to the westward of Cape Raze. At this time the French had very few ships. Charles II. (1675) confirmed the aforesaid liberty, and quitted to them the former tribute of 5 p.c. King James II. confirmed to them the grants aforesaid; from which may be observed that the French were sensible of the weakness of their title, and therefore thought it was absolutely necessary to have it confirm'd by every King of England successively, and by this Trade had so far encreas'd their riches and naval power as to make all Europe stand in fear of them. King William III, being sensible of the vast importance of this Trade, did never confirm these grants to the French, but that his subjects might understand, that his Predecessors could not justly dispose of this Trade, gave his Royal Assent to an Act to resume it (10th and 11th W. III.). Quoted. So that the English having had the entire possession of, and Trade to, all Newfoundland etc., until the 10th of King Charles I, consequently have the same right and title to it now. The whole encrease of the naval greatness of France had its foundation from this Trade; for the nature of it is such, that about ¼ of the men employed are Green Men, that were never before at sea; and the climate being very healthy, scarce one man in fifty dies in a voyage, whereas in voyages to the East and West Indies, few Green Men are made use of, and it is too well known what great numbers are swept away in those unhealthy countries, etc. Besides, the French by their extraordinary frugality joined with their other great advantages, as the cheapness of salt, and having the best and most convenient part of the country for fishing, etc., have quite eaten the English out of this Trade; as may be instanced in many of the Out-ports of our Nation, and particularly Barnstable and Bideford, who formerly employed in this trade about 50 ships, which enabled them to supply King William for some years in the beginning of his reign with 3 or 400 volunteer sailors, and now they do not fit out of late above 6 or 8 small ships, and find it very difficult to man these few; and believe the same scarcity of sailors is in all other Ports; to the great discouragement of Navigation, decrease of the Queen's Customs, the lessening the value of lands, and the strength of the Kingdom. Repeat advantages of French trade, being ice-free, and having cheaper salt and craft. From which we may infer, that they must reap all the profit thereof; and the English, with the silk-worm, will only spin out their own bowels, and then be forced to give over; the consequences whereof may well be dreaded. But our great satisfaction and hope is, that our most Gracious Queen will insist upon her Right, and that no Peace may be concluded, unless the French King will restore all Newfoundland and the Islands which belong to it, etc. Printed. 2½ pp. [C.O. 194, 4. Nos. 136, 136 i.]
May [—].
251. Governor Crowe to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses following. Signed, M. Crowe. Endorsed, Recd. 13th, Read 26th Oct., 1710. 1 p. Enclosed,
251. i. Capt. Hamilton's receipt for the old Seal, to be delivered to the Council of Trade on arrival of H.M.S. Greenwich, etc. May 8, 1710. Signed, A. Hamilton. 1 p. [C.O. 28, 13. Nos. 46, 46 i.]