America and West Indies: September 1710, 1-10

Pages 185-214

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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September 1710, 1-10

Sept.—Dec. 383. Permit for 10 ships to sail for the West Indies without convoy. [C.O. 324, 32. pp. 22–51.]
Sept. 2.
384. Col. Lillington to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Refers to letter of Aug. 1st, "by the Greenwich man of warr who sayled Aug. 3, since which nothing has occured worthy your Ldshipps.' knowledge, but that we still lye under the same inconveniency of not haveing a Treasury etc., the Councill still insisting upon their Representation, and the Assembly upon their custom of nominateing a Treasurer. I hope the determination of that matter is forwarded to us, that we may noe longer lye under the dismall apprehension of an attack without mony to support us," etc. Signed, G. Lillington. 1 p. Overleaf,
384. i. Same to Same. Barbados, Sept. 14. Encloses following, and repeats part of preceding. Signed, G. Lillington. The whole endorsed, Recd. 13th, Read 15th Nov., 1710. 1 p. Enclosed,
384. ii. Answer of the Assembly to the Council's answer to their proposal of a conference. Sept. 6, 1710. Endorsed, Recd. Nov. 13, 1710. 6½ pp. [C.O. 28, 13. Nos. 48, 48 i., ii.; and (without enclosures) 29, 13. pp. 317–320.]
Sept. 2. 385. Col. Lillington to Lord Dartmouth. Repeats Aug. 31. Acknowledges letter July 20. I most heartily congratulate your Lordshipp etc. Since the above, nothing has happen'd worthey your Lordship's knowledge, but that we still continue under the same misfortune of having no Treasurer or Treasury to defray the charge of defending this H.M. Island, etc. I humbly begg your Lordship would lay that affair before H.M. for her determination as soon as possible, etc. Signed, G. Lillington. 2½ pp. [C.O. 23, 48. No. 45.]
Sept. 4.
386. Lord Dartmouth to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Having laid before the Queen the Representation, which you sent to me about the dispute between the Assembly and Councill of Barbados, (v. Aug. 30), H.M. has commanded the Attorney and Sollicitor Genll. to examine the Charter of that Isle, and report their opinion of the matter, which as soon as it is done, will be laid before the Genll. Councill. H.M. would have you then attend, and explain this matter, of which I give you notice, that you may come the better prepared, and as soon as a day is appointed for the Councill to meet, I will let you know it. Signed, Dartmouth. Endorsed, Recd. 4th, Read 7th Sept., 1710. 1 p. [C.O. 28, 13. No. 38; and 29, 12. pp. 265, 266.]
Sept. 5.
387. Mr. Popple to Col. Quary, Surveyor General of the Customs in America. Mr. Pulteney having received two letters from you dated Dec. 2, 1709 and Feb. 10, following, the same have been laid before the Council of Trade and Plantations. They are well pleased with your care in asserting H.M. just rights in Maryland (v. Dec. 2, 1709). When the Acts passed by the Assembly shall be transmitted to their Lordships, they will take the same into consideration, etc. H.M. has been pleased to nominate Col. John Corbet to be Governor of Maryland, whose Commission and Instructions are now preparing. Not having sufficiently explained yourself in what you write touching my Lord Lovelace (v Dec. 2), I have nothing from their Lordships to say on that head, but to inform you that the Act passed at New York for regulating and establishing fees, has been repealed (Dec. 15, 1709). The Order of repeal was delivered to Col. Hunter before his departure from hence; and their Lordships hope such prudent methods will be pursued by him, as will tend to the good of that Province and to the support of H.M. Officers there. You would have done well to have given their Lordps. those instances you mention of the wrong steps that have been taken by some Governors in recommending persons to be members of H.M. Councils, for unless they knew particularly what you hint at, they cannot so easily avoid or remedy the inconveniencies that may proceed from such recommendations, therefore they do expect that in your next you do more fully inform them in this matter. Their Lordships not having received any acct. of the present confusions in Pennsylvania, either from Mr. Penn, or the gentleman sent from thence to represent the same, I have only to tell you that when anything of that nature do's come before their Lordps., they will do what shall be found proper therein. [C.O. 324, 9. pp. 443–445.]
Sept. 7.
388. Mr. Dummer to Mr. Popple. This moment a mayle is come to London from the West Indies by the Sophia packett boate, who left Jamaica July 23 last out and home, 108 days. Signed, E. Dummer. Addressed. Postmark. 1 p. [C.O. 323, 7. No. 4.]
Sept. 8.
389. Lord Dartmouth to Governor Dudley and Governor Hunter. This will be putt into your hands by Mr. Dungan a very near relation of the Earl of Limerick who has committed to him the care of his estate in H.M. Plantations. I desire you will be pleased to show this gentleman all the civility you can, etc. Signed, Dartmouth. [C.O. 324, 32. pp. 21, 22.]
Sept. 9.
390. Governor Parke to the Earl of Dartmouth. Acknowledges letter. Repeats Aug. 16 etc. All the favour I begg of your Lordshipp is, that at your leisure you would read all the papers here sent, and then if you think I deserve your protection I begg it, that I may not be oppress'd, only because I am not of the Republican party; I know no other reason some great men have had for the hard usage I have met with from them. Mr. Nevine who manages the complaint is a Scotch Cammaronian, and at my table before they thought of any complaint justefied the assassinateing the Archbishopp of St. Andrews, and cutting off King Charles his head, and refused to drink prosperety to the Episcopall Church of England, though I began it. I gave this accompt of him, which I beleive was the cause he had so good a reception, and my resenting his behaviour was the cause of our first dispute. Mr. Edward Perrie, the Commissioner of the Customs here did the same, and is a profess'd Presbiterian and has never received the Sacrement in the Church. I sent the Commissrs. of the Customs an accompt of this, and also to other great men, and withall that he by his neglect had lost the Queen above £3000, yet his being a Presbiterian was such merrit, that instead of being removed he was made Surveyor General of the Customs of Barbados and all these Islands. This Perrie has a brother in London who has a pattent for the Marshall's place, which was forfeited by his not comeing over as his pattent directs after his leave was expired, the place is grown of so little vallue that he did not think fitt to be at the charge to renew his Prevy Seal for further leave; and I haveing power to fill all vacancies, I put in one, he has since taken out a further leave, but the Attorney General and Queen's Councill informs me that he haveing once forfeited his pattent, and I haveing given it by my Commission to another, my Commission cannot be superceeded but by a new patent from the Queen, which if so, I beg your Lordshipp to favour me so farr as not to let him have a new patent, and if it be necessary to have the Queen's Patent, that Mr. Michael Ayon, whom I have put, in may have it, for he very well deserves it, and I will order my Agent to take it out for him. Repeats postcript Aug. 16. My Lord Sunderland takes no notice to me he received my letters, but writes to Col. Jones to inquire who of the officers and soldiers had affronted any of the inhabitants and to punish them. I order'd him to call a Court Marshall of the officers and to follow the rules prescrib'd by the Articles of Warr, which was refused by him and all the captains, except Capt. Newel. I ordered Capt. Morris to go with his company to Nevis and not to leave that Island without my order, and Capt. Buer the Adjustant to see the several companys exchanged, and then to stay with his own company at St. Kitts, but Capt. Morris without my leave and contrary to my possative orders, is gon to England, and Capt. Buer never saw any of the companies exchanged, nor went to his own at St. Kitts, but went and stayed at Nevis. They esteam my Lords Sunderland's letter to Col. Jones is superceeding my Commission, for on my threatening to suspend them, they laugh'd, and said my Lord Sunderland would restore them and suspend me. King William broke Col. Lillingston for comeing from Jamaica without the Governor's leave, and it will be strange if Capt. Morris keeps his comission, that is gon and left his company, when I gave him possative orders to stay at Nevis and not to quit that Island on no pretence whatsoever till I sent him orders soe to doe. If I live to come home, I will call both him and his Col. and Capt. Buer to a Court Marshall, and lay the condition of the poor soldiers before the Queen. I hope they will find justice somewhere, and not let the Col. and Capt. divide £14,000, which is the pay of the Regiment, without giveing any part to the soldier[s], many of which have perrished for want, they had no clothes for two year. Your Lordshipp may find their petition which I sent home. I have not appointed a Lieut. Governour for Montserrat, for my part I think the Queen may save that expence, except a very honest man that is a perfect stranger be sent out, for to make one of the inhabitants, who perhapps is related to all the Island, he must let them do what they think fitt, or they will soon make him glad to quit his Government, and the President of the Councill without a sallery will officiate as well as he will do it with one, for he will be at no more charge then he was at before. The Islands are all very healthy and I hope will so continue. I had a commission from the Duke dated 1703 for Col. of Foot. I have writ severall times to be made a brigadeer, and some younger Colls. then myselfe are now Major Generalls, but my Lord Sunderland never would lett me be preferred. I hope your Lordshipp will let me have justice done me. and have my commission accordingly. Signed, Daniel Parke. 4 pp. [C.O. 152, 42. No. 41.]
Sept. 9.
391. Governor Parke's reply to the articles of complaint lodged against him. Article 1. They pretend I scandalously traduced two persons of high quality in the Administration, in order to deprive me of their protection. Not a gentleman of the Council ever heard me make any such declaration as they say I frequently and publickly made. They only produce one witness and he goes but halfe the length of the article; and he is a wretch too low for my conversation, whose character in the interrogatories prepared for him (118), and which had exposed him if he had not avoided them, by slipping off the island. Another, indeed, a creature still meaner, reports only on hearsay, etc. (2) The second Article is soe clearly answered by the Councill, there is little worthy of observation in it but the full tide of mallice and ingratitude that runns through it; the charge is no less then thirsting after innocent blou'd, which long after the Gentlemen of the Councill are so little conscious of, they confess they agreed to what I did, and think I did no more then my duty. Severall people swore, indeed, very freely for this gentleman, but I had so lately so strong a proofe of their inclination to bring off their countreymen, they haveing clear'd Mr. Poxon of the barbarous murder of Col. Johnson, who had been their Chief Governour, for which H.M. directed that he should have no employment for ever in the Island, that it appeared plainly my duty to be very carefull that none of the subjects of the Queen my Mistress might be murthered with impuneity. But all my care has been insuffitient, two gentlemen eminent for the inoffensiveness of their conversation haveing since been barbarously killed, but the jury of inquest would not bring in who killed them, tho' twas notorious to the whole Island, but by thuss bringing off one another they laugh at the laws, despise its penaltys, and do any wickedness they are inclined to. But when I add to that, the certain information I recieved that a jury regularly summosed by the constables were dismissed by the Coroner to choose another that were friends to the person charged with the murther, I had double reason to be cautious, etc. The Corroner also as well as severall other persons thought him guilty, whose depositions I have sent you, as well as some of another opinion, but it has since apeared this Gent. who would seem thus wronged purchased of the Corroner the seasonable favour of dismissing an impartiall jury, whose verdict he had so much reason to aprehend, etc. There is nothing these people will not carp at, and the pardon I granted him for manslaughter, which I afterward on the sollicitation of him and his family granted him, explaines in this case how sadd a fellow he is, etc. This ungratefull silly fellow says that I urged him to take his pardon that it might be in nobody's power to injure him, and yet in the next breath he says I expected a present. What he says is inconsistent and ridiculous, etc. (3) As to questioning Col. Codrington's right to a whole Island etc., it had been a neglect of duty to H.M. if I had not asserted H.M. right, after which for the sake of peace I proceeded no further then to enter it in Councill, that the Lords of Trade might see it, and H.M. be judge of her own title, etc. They can muster up but one more case (No. 57) of my alledged seeking after other men's estates, and that ownes it was an escheat, which being a knowne perquisite to the Goverment, I have by my Commission as much right too, as any of my predecessours, but this man they bring for them gives a proof of my good nature, that I not only gave him the refuseall, but would have sold it him for a verry litle, which was more then I was oblieged to, etc. The next heir of Col. Christopher Codrington, who is now in possession of that Island acknowledges in the Councill's answer to that Article (No. 195) how farre I am from being guilty. (4 and 5) These articles charge me with the highest acts of violence and turning who I please out of their freeholds, etc., with armed soldiers. The real fact which they thus lowdly complain of is only a charitable order for a few of H.M. poor soldiers to lye under cover in an open uninhabitted shedd of eight foot square, not worth 40s., and which was twice forfeited to H.M. by the knowne laws, and only pretended to, by an infamous woman, in fowle language which the soldiers might possibly returne in kind, and which I offer'd to pay her tennfold, if she had any right too. But the whole Constitution or Legislature, as they express it, being struck att, by my denying them so essentiall a priviledge, as their haveing anything to do with this scandallous woman, and their squeaking for their priviledges when they would ingross the whole Prerogative, turnes on them the barefaced iniquity of their complaint. If this woman had been a servant to any member of their house, they might have said itt affected them, or had any of them pretended to the House there had been some shaddow of a pretence to hear ye cause. But to assume to themselves a power of determining disputes in law noways concerneing them, setts aside the course of Justice, ingroses the executive power, and makes all the Courts of Law and Equity to center in themselves, and be alltogether as use less as they would have H.M. in attempting to make a cypher of him she honours to represent her. Which how much they deserve, apeares by their giveing sentence in a cause no ways before them, on hearing one party without regarding the other, and by their continueing obstinate after they were answered to a demonstration by a crowd of wittnesses and by the Councell as apeares by the Minutes (No. 195). Equally honest is their assertion that I denyed that their Assembly had any priviledges, etc., when long before I fully explained myselfe thereon in my message June 11, 1708, "as to my telling you I knew of no privilledges you had, 'twas not that I thought you had none, but that I was a stranger to them,... I should be verry gladd to allow you to have the privilledges the House of Commons have, provided you would ask for no more." (Minutes of Councill.) For their hearing such causes as these, their assumeing to themselves a power to take up vessells, their agreeing for them, and passing warrants for their payment, their recommending all officers, from the judges to the gunner and paying none but whome they recomend, are such essentiall parts of the executive power, that the Parliament of' 41 never pretended they had any right too, and few will believe their libertys to be in danger, when I denyed the Assembly nothing claimed by the Brittish Parliamt., whose privilledges are the envy of all other parts of the Christian world. (6) The sixth Article accuses me of altering of the writs for electing the members of the Assembly, but the Minutes of the Councill, Feb. 17, 1707, plainly proves the writts were ordered in Councill, and the answer of Col. George Gamble (No. 184) plainly proves that in altering them I acted as I was oblieged to do by law. What Mr. Kerby swears for them (No. 91) only shows what sort of a man he is, who while Secretary betrays what he pretends he was intrusted with, but as the Law is the guide which regulates my actions, I am a litle concern'd at such things. Nor will it be ever thought a fault in a Chief Governour by all legall ways to endeavour to prevent a turbulent factious person from troubling the State, and haveing it in his power to obstruct what is for H.M. service and interest. And the interrogatorrie they put to one of the Members of the Councill (No. 116), when they were fishing for proofes for this fault and makeing him discover on oath our private conversation according to their lawdible custom, only informes them that I really looked on that gentleman they make such a stirr about, to be an incendiary, and the prime cause of all the troubles of this Island. Thus they have been labouring to prove that I acted the part of a good and exact Governour by endeavouring to keep out of their Assembly (but by legall ways) only one who I had reason to believe would so influence 'em that they would preferr faction to the intrest of H.M. and their country. Which the effect has proved too true, they haveing since neither raised any tax to pay their debts, or made any provision for the poore soldiers H.M. sent them for their protection, (7) The 7th Article continues the cry of their Constitution being invaded, and they instance in the case of Capt. Perrie whom I refused to admitt to take the oaths, and admitted one Capt. James Nisbett in his roome. Now as this Article informs you, I by my place administer the oaths to the Members of the Assembly before they sitt there, as the Lord High Steward does in England, and am equally oblieg'd to administer the oath agreeable to the returne of the proper officer, nor can I swear in any other person, if I had ever so great an inclination to it, so plainly was I oblieg'd to swear in this Nisbett, and how hard is my fate to be loaded with the very reproaches for doing my duty, which I could only deserve if I did as they would have me, for I told them I was oblieg'd to sweare in who ever the Sherriff returnes, yet if on any complaint or petition to them they should adjudge any other person duly elected, I would administer the oaths to whoever was adjudged so by their house. They complaine further that the Assembly was in a few days after dissolved, which to be sure was a great breach of their priviledges, where they had so many weighty afaires before them. But what good could I hope would be done by such madd men as rave at me for swearing in such members as were returned by the Sherriff. But with their usuall good understanding they unluckilly give themselves the reason why I dissolved them, because they would not esteem themselves Representatives of the People, nor would do the business which as the People's Representatives they ought to do, while they were under such jealousies of their Constitutions. So plaine was the necessity of dissolveing them, when they would proceed on no business, nor take care of any of those weighty affaires which they say the people they represented choose them for, and which the Councill unanimously advised me to. The last complaint in this Article is so darke, it is plaine when they made it they did not desire it should be understood. They word it that I have given the same obstruction to the present Assemblys, and continued in my obstinate dennyall of the just and undoubted priviledges of the Assembly. If they would have it understood by the same obstruction, the same dispute about swearing in Mr. Perrie, the foregoing answer would serve for it, and save me the trouble of exposeing them for the greatest piece of folly such a body of men were perhapps ever guilty off. The fact is thus; it has been the custome (as appears by the Minutes) that all Bills after they were pass'd should be signed by me and the Speaker before they were transmitted to England, and the manner was when the Speaker came to me wth. any Bill, we signed them together, and in point of rank I signed first. But being at St. Christophers at the opening of this Assembly, and while severall bills were gone through in it, the Lt. Governour and Councill sent to the Assembly to signe them, in order to send them to me, which they refused to do till I hadd pass'd severall other bills that were before them, makeing their owne Speaker's signeing any bill the fiat that made it a law, without which it should have no force, though passed both Houses and agreed to by me, which in their own stile was so barefaced an attempt on the first branch of H.M. Soveraignty over them, and of an independency from the Croune of England, that no one that had the honour of H.M. Commission could by any meanes consent too. And tho' they will sometimes say they do not pretend to H.M. negative voice, the Militia and tax acts which they passed and the Councill and I agreed to without any amendment not being owned by them for a law, because not signed by their Speaker, does fully prove their assumeing to themselves that power, which is not only much superiour to the House of Commons in England, but to Her Majesty's, altho' they had not resolved with what title they will dignifie and distinguish it, which the Councill's answer expressly says no Assembly before thought of, yet without it they would neither quarter the soldiers nor pay their publick debts and retrieve their creditt, then expireing by their late composition (they paid the Countries debts in sugars at 20s., when they might have been bought for 12s. 6d. with goods, and 10s. ready money) and which is now so perfectly destroyed by their declareing they will raise no money till they stand possessed of these Prerogatives which they call priviledges, that no one on any account will trust them. They decently conceal from H.M. that their quarril with me was for my not complimenting them with Her chiefe prerogative, and that they had ventured looseing H.M. Island, starveing her soldiers and destroying the chartell to gaine it from me, when they had in vaine attempted to bribe me by assureing me (as they express it) of suiteable returnes of gratitude. But the Lords of Trade have declared I acted agreeable to my trust etc. Mr. Crump in his deposition owns that wee being in aprehension of an enemy, I desired him to tell the Members of the Assembly, that if they would lay aside their claime or dispute about the Negative Voice, I would forthwith call them together, and as this is out of the mouth of a publick enemy, who thereby acknowledges I took more care of them then they did of themselves, etc. He says they in generall were for meeting in any manner, but did not know what I meant about the dispute of the negative voice. What could be expected of men that could be so willfully ignorant as not to owne they understood what had been so long disputed, and for which I had too often told them I could not convene them, and which they had resolved not to recede from, and which their Speaker in this very deposition declares he understood ? But to put it past dispute how litle they inclined to meet notwithstanding their present danger, he ownes the majority would not meet without this provisoe, that I removed the ordinary guards from the towne, by whome they said they had been insulted and assaulted. But since this Court of Inquisition has been erected, and my Enemy Col. Jones has examined into the behaviour of the soldiers, to the paying for a pint of milke, and no complaint haveing ever been made to the said Court or Colonel that any one Member of Councill or Assembly or any one Gentleman of the Island had ever either been assaulted or insulted by any soldier since they have been here, what could I imagine by such a request, but that they designed to do publickly what they had miscarryed in by night-worke, which as I had often been warned off. This Gentleman palliateing my designed murther by calling it calmely a wound I recieved in the highway, as if it was no more then a quarrell, added to the attempt, that God Almighty has since brought to light, of a Gentleman of the Assembly, and other his friends, probably of the same body, endeavouring to hire a soldier a second time to shoot me, displays what they then too probably designed. But men who could speake so slightly of assassination, and bring in false wittnesses to accuse them that search'd for such ruffians, must curdle the blood and create a horrour by thinking of them. (Nos. 59, 60, 70.) If the woman in question was ill, the doors should have been opened and no ocation given to break them, etc. But if the officers were blameable for the manner of dischargeing their duty, is that more my fault then it is a Sherriff's when his officers are insolent. The Adress attested by Mr. Crump is cramm'd fuller of more lyes then perhapps such a body of men in any age were almost knowne to be guilty off. It begins with saying they had assured me by their Speaker that they were willing to lay aside the dispute of the manner of passing laws, when Mr. Crump directly sweares that they pretended they did not know what I meant about the dispute of the negative voice, so very farr were they from quitting it. And their modest demand of sending the ordinary guard out of towne, they wholy pass by. They say that when they attended me in Councill by my order, and I againe proposed that affair they were determined to have agreed to it, when all the Councill are my wittnesses I adjourn'd them because they would not agree to it. There assertion that they mett in Bayer's Pasture as an Assembly is also notoriously false, the Act of regulateing Elections apointing the Members of the Assembly and Councill to be present, but neither as a Councill or as an Assembly, nor did they pretend to do any business, or make any adjournement, or were prorogued as an Assembly must have been. (8) The eighth Article of my overawing elections can be inserted for no other reason then to irritate every Englishman, else my being at St. Christophers before the calling the Assembly was proposed, and severall weeks after they satt, makes it impossible they should not know that this Article as the Councill words it is notoriously false, and that the Minutes prove it soe. But since in all the time between the frameing this Article and their takeing depositions, they could not muster up one to give any countenance to the charge, and all the interrogatories being fresh proofs against them, the reason is evident that they dropt the way of proceeding they begann with of bringing proofes to their respective articles, because they had no shaddow of a proofe for many of them. (9) They say they have in one year quite forgott the use of their arms, in which they had arrived to a great perfection in, rather then acknowledge how ignorant and unsoldierlike I found them. The only thing true in what they say is, that when we were like to be attacked, I found myselfe at the head of a handfull of such raw, undisciplined men, who, as themselves express it, knew not the exercise or use of their arms. However, I was so unsoldierlike, as they word it, to have my time wholly taken up in intrenching and fortifieing St. Johns. It is very amazeing they should owne themselves they knew not the very use of their arms, and should at the same time complaine I made lines to defend them. But says these soldiers, these lines were too large to be defended by three times the number; but they are too stupid to be argued with; if they were not able to defend a strong line well mounted with cannon with an addition of 2000 creole negroes, who could have been made usefull behind it, how could they be able to give them battell, especially since the men that came to attack them very probable knew something of discipline, etc. But they say experience has taught them to recieve the enemy at landing, and when outdone to retreat by byways, harrass the enemy, and loose the Island foot by foot. And I must agree, they did loose the Island so before, when they had halfe as many more men, and did harrass the enemy by running away so fast; and haveing this wofull president, I was by no means inclined to have the Island lost so againe. I am afraid the last thing they say is too likely: that if these men had been in the towne, rather than fight, they would have surrender'd at the first push, when they had no byways left them to runn away, as they used to do, etc. As to the scituation of the towne, I did not build it, but 'twas my bussiness to make the best of it. There is indeed two hills near it, but till they had brought cannon ashoare, and mounted them, which would have tooke up more time then these Gentlemen would have runn from one wood to another and lost the Island in, they would not have looked on the Towne. And after they had mounted their gunns, from a battery on Church Hill in the Towne I could have annoyed them as much as they could me, and the earth being a strong clay, the bulletts would have lodged in the rampart and throwne no part of it downe, and I took such care in lyeing out the meanders of the line that not any part of it is amphilladed by either of those hills, and if they had continued fireing from the hill, the houses being all timber the bulletts would only have bored them and gone through, and tho' they had brought bombs, which they certainly would not, as not knowing they had any occation, yet they would have done litle harme, the streets being broad and unpaved, and every house almost haveing a cisterne of water. But these Gentlemen preferred hideing themselves in bypaths and deserting the defence of their chief towne, and country, to a cannonadeing which they had a great horror for. In three weeks with only three negroes out of every hundred, I made the line round the town, etc. If they would have allowed but one in tenn, I would have made it as strong as the lines in Flanders. Yet what they say may be true, for no place within the reach of a cannonadeing can by any art be made teneable to men that will not stand it, etc. However, the forfeiting the towne was done by an Act of Assembly and Councill, and which they and the inhabitants would have occation to say looked like a designe to betray them, had I refused it. And if they will be still angry that it was my opinion that a fortified towne makes a better figure, and may make better conditions with an enemy then a towne that is unfortified, they will only make themselves further laughed att. The expression of throwing great gunns from an outworke shows their millitary knowledge and discipline to be much of a piece, but they after explaine themselves to mean drawing off the cannon from Monks hill to St. Johns, my care of which great gunns many of those very Gentlemen when in the Assembly thanked me for. How little capable Monks Hill is of being made defenceible the certificate (No. 168) of Col. Lilly will make appeare, on which the Assembly resolved to proceed no more on the fortification of it. The minutes of Councill and affidavitts will prove I as well deserve H.M. favour as the utmost care can intitle any man to. I have with much sorrow found it so little in the power of a chief Governour to order what quantity of negroes is necessary to make such workes as might defy any enemy in this part of the world, etc. The Minutes of Councill will apear so amazeing to the intelligent world that I should so often begg (as for an almes) that they would spare 3 or 4 negroes more out of a hundred from makeing sugar, to be employed on workes to preserve themselves and famillys from the fate of their near neighbours, (Nevis). One reason why the Militia is in no better order, [is] the poor are so oppress'd by the rich who have a mind to their land, they are forced to sell it to them and leave the island. Thus Dickinson's Bay, which formerly furnished a company of above a hundred men, has now but about 10 men in it. Dr. Mackinnen haveing by one means or another gott all those poor people's lands into his possession, thus the Island is much weaker in people then it was 40 years ago, and will decline every day, and as everybody almost must be an officer, there is no soldiers to discipline, of which Lt. Col. Codrington's Company in Col. Edward Byam's Regiment is an eminent instance, which consisted but of four men, vizt., himselfe, his Lieut., Ensigne and one private man. Two others indeed he said belonged to it, but they were sick or off the Island. This I would gladly have regulated and have put the four regiments into one, which then would have been a very small one, and their Royall Regiment of Carrbineers into a troop of dragoons, which then would have been a very weake one. But this would have raised a hurricane greater then any their clime is used too. And so to break into their constitution and robb them of their honours would have been worse then delivering them to the French, and all the punishment in the world would be less then I had deserved. To my issueing orders contrary to their Councill of warr, that is to the opinion of eight Militia Captains and four field officers, the Councill tells you it is untrue, I never order'd it. But I should have very ill have kept up the dignity of my post, and show'd I had learned very litle of the greatest Capt. of this age, had I not given my opinion to officers so much younger and less experienced than myselfe, because they differ'd with me. Refers to depositions. They abundantly prove I took much more care of them then they did of themselves, which added to the paines I tooke in acting the Engineer for their workes, and overseer for their negros, and rideing 20 mile a day in this sultry country, might make me expect other thankes then a charge of High Treason in designeing to deliver them to the French; for which if they deserve not to be branded, as they do their negroes, for so barefaced and false an accusation, and such monstrious ingratitude, I leave the impartiall world to determine. (10) They are very angry that I should declare in Chancery that I would judge according to reason and equity. Was that ever before thought a fault ? etc. But they add, I will not be govern'd by the presidents of the Courts of Chancery in England, which cannot be true, it being my custom to send over to England any intricate cases, as the Councill observes, (No. 195) and declares I never pronounced but one decree, in which they were my assistants that it was reasonable equitable and just. As to my being arbitrary, altho' I am sole judge, I called the Lt. Governour and Councill to my assistance, who all agreed with me. But it did seem to them very abomin able and without any president that a stranger that came out of England should recover his money from an inhabitant, and that he should be forced to pay it and when they consider'd this inhabitant was then my intimate friend and the Chiefe Justice of this Island, and one of the most considerable men, they imediately forme themselves into caballs, and in proportion to the greatness of their debts, they concieved great horror, in aprehending they might be made to pay them, and accordingly made their subscriptions for money to gett me removed. I never pretended to be a lawyer, and if any of my decrees are faulty, why do they not apeale from them ? etc. Whoever will sit in Chancery in these little Islands that are joined so closely in allyance together, and determine causes without regarding the ranke of the person he offends shall in one yeare be as uneasy as I am, unless it be found to be for H.M. intrest better to support him. But they haveing so often mentioned my low opinion of their laws, I will freely acknowledge it, and have frequently pressed them to alter, etc. Criticises an Act of 1698 protecting debtors, and an Act empowering the sale of lands to pay publick dues. The chief men in the Island joined in confederacy to buy them, which grew thereby so large twas in vaine to complaine against it, there being few considerable estates of which some part is not from the spoiles of the fatherless or absent and the rights of widdows, nay so barefaced was their combination of injustice, that they agreed among themselves not to outbidd one another, so pretending to buy, they took from the children the possession of their fathers, who in vaine cryed out against that which the sacred name of the Law was prostituted to debarr them from. Thus acres of land in the heart of the country has been sold for £20 when one acre of it is worth the money; similarly the 460 acres of Col. Francis Phipps' land was sold, when 10 honestly sold would more then have paid them what was due to the country. But such things as these are contrary to the equity of the English laws, which it was purposely calculated to evade, and to dispossess absent people as well as orphans of their freeholds, who knew nothing of the matter, but besides the naturall injustice as its contrary to the Law of England, I presume it is in itselfe void, and I don't question but those injured orphans will find relief from the fundamentall laws of their mother Kingdome, etc. Another of their charges against me in proceeding in the Chancery contrary to their laws is for allowing the seale of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury as evidence before me, when their Acts allow the Seale of every Corporation, altho' I am by Instructions June 26, 1707. order'd to governe myselfe in relation to probatts of wills by the annexed opinion of Sir E. Northey, March 28, 1707, wherein he says that when letters of administration arive in the Plantations under the Seale of the Prerogative Court of Chancery, they are to be allowed there, etc., etc. Their law of 1698 seems to secure 'em from the effect of a hundred such Instructions, while they cannot be made to pay anybody unless they please, which they never do please to do to a stranger, it being an avowed maxim never to give any cause how just soever on the behalfe of a stranger against an inhabitant. Thus if endeavouring to make new laws to compell them to pay their debts is a fault, I plead guilty etc. As to the insinuations of corruption they bring against me, Lt. Col. Wm. Codrington makes the greatest figure. But tho' he is a Gentleman famous for severall villanys, and for counterfeitting my hand, and false indorseing a cockett, and therefore not very like to be scrupulous in anything, yet he neither pretends I tooke a bribe or asked one. He only tells a discourse which he had with one who came from Capt. John Roach's house, where I had not been for a twelvemonth. That and all the long story of my keeping the will is proved abominably false by Nos. 198, 183. The buying up debts att halfe or one third part of their vallue, especially after an injunction makes an ill sound, and it must looke ill in England (where these litle Islands are so litle knowne) for the Chancellor to meddle with the causes that come before him any other then in a judiciall way. Whatsoever comes before my Lord Chancellor is determined by him, and there the matter ends. But people are here so thinn, and they are so near related everybody is concerned for one side or the other, and if it is possible to make up any cause without a decree, I save the makeing many enemys. And though I would rather offend every person in the Goverment then faile in my duty to the Queen, or act against my conscience, yet as things have of late been managed, I have been forced to take more care to disobliege nobody then otherwise I should, and which it would be for H.M. interest, if none of Her Goverments lay under the necessity of doing.
And as there scarce is a dispute, but a complaint comes to me of it, before they go to law, I endeavour to prevent it if I can, and when I cannott, he that has the least or no money to mannage his suite continues his complaints; I very often make up such causes before they runn the length of the Law, and save those charges which the practitioners here doe not thank me for. This was the case of Pellachio, he was involved in law, without a penny of money, and subsisted on charity; the debt was just but he could not go on in the prosecution, so he came raveing to me, tells me how neare he is starveing, when, if he had but any part of a just debt owing him, he knew how to gett his liveing. Compassionateing his case, and being urged by him to use my intrest with Redwood his debtor, who pretended to have a respect for me, I sent for him and did all I could to help him, but Redwood haveing no money, which is farr from being unusuall in this countrey, the Gentlemen of the best estates frequently not being able to command 20s. But the wants of this poor fellow were not to be so satisfied. I was forced therefore to use my intrest to make it up, and tooke Redwood's bond for £120, and I lett him have £60 in specie, and he was to have the rest as I received it from Redwood, and how much he thought himselfe oblieged to me, the deposition No. 115 demonstrates, in spight of my enemys, who there appeares endeavouring to bribe him to sweare against me, nor till he was dead, and past con tradicting them, they would not have dared to traduce a charity which to his death he acknowledged. £60 in specie is worth 90 in sugars, wch. with the country's intrest at 10 p.c. is 100. So I could have gott but £20 had the money been paid when due, which is against the most establish'd rules of the country, etc. They have but one story more since I came to my Goverment, and that but of £29 14s. 6d. But if it was as they represent it, it would be of no manner of fault, it being my duty (as Ordinary) to administer for such as dye intestate and have no relations. The depositions show my generosity on this occation and that I make no profit (Nos. 105, 188, 192.) (11) The eleventh Article complains of my threatening to turn out Judges, and they so Jesuitically word it, as if I had turned out Mr. Watkin's, whome they clamour so much about, when the Councill declares I neither turn'd out him, or so much as any one Justice of the Peace since I came to my Goverment. And I was so farr from forceing him by an unpresidentall unwarrantable a mandamus to signe any process, that no mandamus ever issued dureing my administration, and this was only signed, for it was made up between the partys and never issued. But it being the unanimous opinion of the Councill, as they themselves acknowledge in their answer, I must have sign'd it tho' I had been of a different opinion, and it could be no more a fault in me then it was in Mr. Watkins who signed it on hearing the Councill's opinion. Mr. Watkins (No. 128) says that severall times when only he and I were together, I blamed him for suffering the lawyers, particularly Mr. Nivine, to use such freedome att the Barr, as reflected on the honour of the Court. I had severall such informations, and reason to believe it by Mr. Nivine's insolent behaviour even before me in Chancery. The Justices, indeed, had been long used to allow him the same freedome of language in the Courts, which he tooke every evening with them in the taverns, which being derogatory to H.M. dignity, I endeavour'd to remedy. As to the petition of Mr. Mallett, I was so farr from countenanceing it, that in the publick Court I severely checked him for it, and for what he might after say to Mr. Watkins to excuse himselfe I neither know, nor is it of any moment, he being so very sadd a fellow that he would say or swear or do anything. I had used him with great civillity on account of a pretended letter he brought me from Mr. Godolphin, which afterwards apeareing to be forged, I took no further notice of him, after which he published another very scandallous libell, which when he was taken up for, he accused Jeoffry Duncombe, Dr. Mackinnen, and Mr. Watkins on oath, and afterwards thought it worth his while on oath againe to contradict, to obliege them. And tho' Mr. Watkins did indeed lay downe, and might have heard or imagined I would turne him out, I never declared anything like it, and should have no more turn'd him out for joyneing with the faction then formeing against me, then any other of that party, not one of whome I have ever since put out of the Commission of the Peace, or any post or command whatsoever. But, on the contrary, I have filled up vacancys with those that have signed against me, where I found them qualified. Indeed, had I not found him Chiefe Justice, I should never have made him one, so barbarous an action as murdering a man who was unarm'd, would have made him apeared to me not very fitt to sitt as Chiefe Justice in cases of bloud, especially in a country where murther is never knowne to be punished, if the murtherer is a man of any condition. But this Gentleman layd downe as others had done, in hopes the merritt of it would purchase a reversion of mighty favour from my successor, for the Courts being just ended, and the profitts of his place ceaseing, it being 6 months before they were to open againe, he depended before that, the money they had collected would so back their private clandestine Articles, that I should be condemn'd and removed without being heard, and he have his places return'd to him in tryumph. (12) The twelfth Article charges me with direct purjury about a parcell of brandy. If on information of prohibitted goods being landed, I was by oath as they say oblieged to seize them, how could I with two wayters do it without planting centinells at suspected places till the search was made, especially in a countrey where the civill officers as the Councill informes you will so seldom do their duty, and how necessary all this care was, appeares, when, on their clamour against the soldiers I removed them, the brandy was imediately conveyed away, as may well be supposed, since it never was found. Had I refused the officers warrants to search, they might have suspected I was not inclined to seize them. But I had, they say, afterwards £150 bribe from Mr. Chester. I would faine know for what ? etc. The Councill observes the seizure would have been of much greater vallue. As to Mr. Chester's deposition, his malice for my continuall interrupting him in his clandestine trade, there is no falshood he will not runn into. The depositions 56, 57 fully prove the £150 he paid me was for so much justly due to me, which he had cheated me of in a former account etc. In the sixteenth Article he againe comes in to prove I took a bribe of him of 10 barrils of flower, for which I forgave a shipp and cargo forfeited to me by Law. Had the fact been as he sweares it, he would have been another instance of my good nature and generosity in so easilly compounding so considerable a forfeiture. But the very Mr. Roach they apeale to declares on his oath (No. 71) this flower was so damnyfied that Mr. Chester would sett no price on it, when I would have paid for it, long after I had tooke no advantage of the forfeited vessell.
It's condemning the innocent with the guilty, and the accidents of trade are allready so many that the fair trader, after he has escaped the danger of the seas and enemy, should be lyable to be undone by a fellow forgetting his register, or a rascall's privately shipping some prohibbitted commoditys without the merchants or any other freighters knowledge or advantage: for either of these, as the Law now stands, both shipp and cargoe are forfeited. which is so great a hardshipp and discouragement to trade, as it could not be designed by any legislature, so it highly deserves their consideration either to amend or appeale, and is what may save many an innocent familly from ruine, which I should be gladd to be the occation of by observing, tho' it would take the best perquisite from all Governours, and which altho' Col. Codrington made many a thousand pound of, I never gott a halfe penny by. (13) The 13th article is full fraught with generall charges, but barren in particulars. Nothing is so ridiculous as their instance to prove this outcry and injury done Mr. Barbottaine in relation to his butter; the seizure was ocationed by it's being stopped agoing aboard a French Flagg of Truce contrary to Law, and which therefore nobody cared to owne, and the Gentleman they mention declares on oath, he never demanded them of the Collector, who informes us they lay in the Queen's warehouses till they were spoil'd. As every single act they are pleased to find fault with, they falsely express in the plurall, so in this article of my alteration of Judges must be understood Mr. Pember, who is H.M. Attorney Generall, and the only Judge of the Admiralty I ever made. He is of a good character and family etc. (14) The 14th Article is indeed very solemn. The charge is of assumeing a dispensing power, and for trampleing on the Laws in a most barefaced manner, a crime King's lost their crownes for pretending to it. But is it possible to believe that the instance this Article gives of my dispenseing with the powder Act, that these very Gentlemen who make this so heinous a crime in me, petition'd me to do it, and that the whole Councill and Assembly, agreeable to their owne Constitution and customs (No. 78) adressed me to excuse the sloopes of this Island from paying this duty to encourage their navigation, and it apeareing to me that there was a suffitient quantity of powder in the stores, and that on such occations the Generalls were used to grant such petitions, I consented to it, etc. (15) The charge of takeing extravagant fees is suffitiently exposed by the affidavitt of the Secretary (No. 74) that they amounted not to 40 pistoles per annum for this Island, etc. By my Instructions the Councill is to settle all fees. The Councill and Assembly of St. Kitts settled the fees att my first comeing, and I have govern'd myselfe according to the table of fees they made. (16 v. 12). (17) I cannot deny I have signed of course the commissions of the Peace to all that were in it att my arrivall, to the low mean wretched characters of some of whome I am oblieg'd to make no defence, and which if fairly drawne would make it less wonderfull they sign'd such scandalous articles, etc. Though they accuse me of being arbitrary, they do not pretend I have put out one J.P. for signeing these articles, etc. (18) The 18th Article relates to one Ham I made master of a privateer. The courage of such men is what they are generally more famous for then their morallity, and tho' I will not justifie the killing any Spaniard in cool bloud, to escape the perpetuall slavery all their prisoners are doom'd too, yet liberty is so deare, more might be said to excuse the great price he paid for it then twenty other crimes very litle complain'd against. The rest of the story the Councill's answer proves to be false. He lived at St. Kitts before I came to the Goverment, and long since this action, so that if he is guilty, he may be tryed for it; nor have they been able to give one instance that I ever protected any man from the Laws, etc. (19, 20) These articles are so foolish, they expose themselves, etc. The creditt I have done their Island by the houses I have built in their towne, which before was a scandall to strangers, and which by the fate of builders I shall be a looser, are but indifferent proofs of my "inveterate mallice to the Island," and that I would deliver it up to an enemy, when I have a greater intrest in it, and should loose more thereby then 19 parts in 20 of the Petitioners. So they unluckily tell a story of what I should say at Col. Blackman's to prove the arbitraryness of my disposition, which gave me occation to prove 'tis so farr from being my disposition (Nos. 87, 88), that not one inhabitant has been put into the stocks, or pillory, or has been whipt or duckt ever since I came, etc. (21) This Article charges me with exacting 10 p.c. from prizes and refuseing to give Commissions to such privateers as would not allow it me, but as the instance they pretend to give of it is by Capt. Roach (No. 70) and their very depositions proved to be before the last Act tooke place, that cutt off the Lord High Admirall's tenths, this Article has no more in it then the rest. My fitting out severall privateers for the service of the Islands, and at the request of the Councill when there was no mann of warr here to guard them, is the foundation of this calumny. My share indeed came to above 10 p.c., and yet I was a looser by it. I wish they had explained why they are so angry att my strolling up and doun the streets a evesdropping, as they term it, and 'tis strange, if they saw me, I had such salutation from their windows as my small ponyard and pockett pistolls would have been but little defence against. Thus they represent an action the greatest heroes have gloryed in, and which the Historians of all ages have thought worth recording to their honour, etc. You may easily imagine that a sea-port town in the West Indias full of punch-houses and taverns, crammed with soldiers and privateers, to be very licentious, and the greatest care and pains is wanted to make it habitable. This fault they accuse me of, has so reformed the town that whereas formerly allmost every night somebody was wounded, or murder was cryed out in their streets, they are now as quiet as London within her walls. But before this could be brought to pass, I went the rounds (80, 81, 82) oftner then the watch, and when they sett spys to give them notice of my comeing. I would in a centenal's habit, or in cloathes they did not expect me in, go round the town till I had cured all their disorders by finding out their contrivances, etc. They bring no proof to confirm this article, etc. But since their taking the publick depositions they have taken some private ones, and one in relation to this article from Capt. Peter Buor, who then slipt off the Island that I might not interrogate him, and have shew'd that the disguise he has seen me in was no other than what I have owned in this Article; and that he was one of the persons I took with me, and therefore a wittness of my extraordinary care of this ingratefull people, etc. As to their Nine Additional Articles (1) the first begins by saying that I appointed one that came over a private man in the Regiment Provost Marshall. Had he not been a Gentleman and qualifyed for the office they would have alleaged it, but since they cannot pretend either, they undervalue him, and indeed it is amongst them much more reputable to breed their children to the meanest employs than to carry arms as a cadet and to rise in the service of H.M. and their country by their courage and merritt. They further say he gave no security, by wch. they insinuate he could not, but as their own deposition (No. 72) contradicts that insinuation, so the whole also is false, for he gave security on my making him Marshall of this Island, but he entered not his security till I had made him Marshall of all the Islands, wch. piece of form if he had not punctually comply'd with might be a fault in him, but how it could be in me who might know nothing of it, few of themselves can find out. They end with saying that he executes all my commands without reserve. Which is agreeable to what I frequently declared, that I would suffer no Marshall to act who would not empannell such juries as I would direct. Which words their deposition No. 26 is to confirme, but as I remember no discourse like it, I think it needs no notice, till they attempt to prove he has chose any jury who have acted contrary to their duty and that I could have any benefitt thereby. Till when or till some other fault in the execution of his office is proved on him, he will not be thought at home the worse Marshall for endeavoring to put the Laws in execution, etc. (2) The 2nd Article is disproved by the depositions of many disinterested persons (Nos. 7–28), which show my moderation and humanity, etc. They haveing made the Captain of the Grenadeers a party to this Article, I ought also to cleare his character, he being not only remarkable for being the only officer that had seen any service in this Regiment, but for being more a soldier then generally comes into these parts, and so regular in his conversation that neither before the Court of Inquisition my Lord Sunderland erected against me, or his other High Commission Court, of which he constituted Col. Jones sole Judge, not one complaint came against him, etc. (3) The third Article is still more stupendiously impudent. Deposition (No. 108) shows this Tankerd by the confession of his friend designeing to affront publickly H.M. in the person of Her Chief Magistrate. The Deposition (58, 59) shows him bragging of his challengeing him and braveing him. The deposition (145 and 134) shews him sending a formall challenge by a private gentleman, and the person that brought it suffer'd to returne without the least indignity. The deposition No. 208 shows you this same Tankerd sitting on a hill like a Generall dispatching scouts seizing passengers on the publick roades, and bringing them between negroe slaves with gunns at their breasts, to his tribuneall. Deposition No. 145 shows how the Civill Officer in endeavouring to do his duty and to serve the Chief Justice's warrant is near being taken prisoner by these black bandittis, who when they could not cutt him off the roads, which by great good fortune he gained before them, they endeavoured to murder him, and fired their pieces at him, which they durst not doe without orders, which, being so extensive as to bring him in alive or dead, explaines what he was to expect if they had gott him, for which meretorious actions by a prodigy of imprudence they forme the 3rd Article, for sending some soldiers to prevent the Marshall's being murther'd in the discharge of his duty in aprehending one who their owne deposition (No. 71) does not deny to be no more then the son of an alewife who had been publickly whipp't for her ill-behaviour, etc. The latter part of the Article, which is dressed up to begett compassion for the wife and daughter of Tankerd, who it says lay then sick in bed of a feavor, and who were so terrified as at that unseasonable time of night to runn out and leave the house, is one entire lye, which not one of their depositions (42–44) ever pretend too, but acknowledges her to be well and up and drinkeing etc. (4, 5) The fourth article is fully answered in the 7th, and the 5th in the 10th. (6) My conversation with the present Treasurer is so fully repeated by himselfe on oath (No. 176) I have no occation to add to it. I have been so farr from recieving any present for passing laws, that when their Assembly assured me of suiteable returnes of gratitude (No. 173), if I would no longer insist on preserveing to H.M. her authority and power, I despised their offer and lost £4000. The Assembly had settled £1000 for my house rent, but my insisting on H.M. Negative voice prevented their sitting, so that no tax was raised to pay me the said sum. (7) I must returne my Lord Sunderland my most hearty thanks, for had he not been pleased by a letter and direction to Col. Jones to examine into the behaviour of the officers and soldiers of his regiment, it would not have so evidently apeared that nothing can be more groundless then this article. Capt. Phillip Walsh was the only officer they had anything to say too, and I shall not do him the injury to add anything to the handsome defence he made for himselfe. And there was but four soldiers that were charged with any disorder to whom the Col. order'd any punishment, but it apeareing by their petition (131, 146, 153), that they were accused only of scolding with an infamous lewd scolding woman about some two years since, and then complained to Col. Jones, who did not then thinke fitt to punish them, and that they were not allow'd to answer for themselves, I order'd them a regimentall Court Marshall, where their accusers not being able to make out the charge, they never apear'd against them. It is an unanswerable proof of the good discipline I have kept the soldiers in, that the people have had no more to lay to their charge in near four years time, etc., etc. The disorders they say were committed on June 1st in no way relate to me. (8) This Article has more truth in it. I did indeed on horseback with the Marshall and others goe to the house where one Denbow keeps a taverne, and commanded the Marshall to seize on some people there, who did accordingly seize and committ them to goale, and I also did declare I would shoot any of those who would resist. The deposition and interrogatorie (Nos. 61, 101) will shew you these Gentlemen by force of arms publickly rescued a criminall who had in the night knockt downe one of the Judges of the Island and beat him in a most barbarous manner, and how they take him out of the hands of Justice, avoweing the action and useing words that border very near upon rebellion, telling the Lieut. Governour they were in a flame, and threatening to fling away their scabbards. Was not this high time to show them I would not lett H.M. be affronted, and the awe they are in of the soldiers, when they are used on such occations to quell such audacious proceedings, when the Constables will not assist for fear who had hidd themselves when I called for them on this occation, and to reduce them without the limmitts of the Laws is a greater grievance to them then their enemies at a distance, etc. (9) This Article is but a branch of the last, etc. I shall take my leave of them to conclude with (10) the tenth article in considering the state of the Island and the alteration since I came into the Government. The towne is encreased one halfe in people, and the best halfe in buildings (v. Art. 19). But as the number of negroes and windmills and sugars they can make is what they vallue themselves on, there were but 27 windmills on my arriveall, and are 74 now. And as Nevis and St. Kitts were destroyed when I arrived and are now in a very flourishing condition, the annual produce of this Goverment may be twice as much as when I came to it. But 'tis still necessary that some care be taken of a groweing evill, I mean their makeing the poor uneasy on their litle Plantations till they are forced to sell them, after which they soon quitt the Island, which will in time so depopulate it that it's too likely they will become an easy prey to their neighbours, who increase in people as much as this Island declines, which it will do still more till it shall appeare H.M. intrest to extinguish the factious humour that reignes not in this only but in most of Her Governments, which will soon oblige her Governours to fall into their owne intrest, and rather make their fortunes by humouring the people, then ruine themselves by endeavouring to mintaine H.M. honour and the intrest of the Brittish Nation at their owne expense, etc., the perticular intrest of Collonys often clashing with that of the Mother Kingdome. And as everybody endeavours to buy cheape and sell deare, whosoever will suffer the people here to buy European goods at the Dutch Islands, which are very neare us, where they can have them at much lower rates then with us, and will allow them to sell them their produce which they can do much higher, shall allways be well with the people, both which are highly prejudiciall to H.M., it being perfectly the intrest of Great Brittain to restraine our imports to what we recieve from thence, and to make our whole exports to be imported there, to be afterwards distributed as the Law directs to other Nations. I can here give an eminent instance. My couzin Sherrard (now in the Guards) who was here with me, was employed to make me an offer a £1000 a yeare, if I would connive att such practices, which refuseing I lost the money, and made them my enemys etc.
I am now come to the third and last charge, and am forced to be more serious than their other Articles would allow me. Haveing heard of H.M. piety and devotion, their last attempt is under a pretence of religion to bespeake her favour. Good God, that a people who have not the very forme of godlynesse, who labour to expell the clergy from among them, and starve them when they are with them, who from year's end to year's end seldom see a Church; who live in profess'd adultrys and owne a mungrill race, the liveing wittnesses of their unnaturall and monstrous lusts, etc., not to mention their dissolute drunken actions. This is not the crime of a few, nor the meanest of their party, nor of the youngest of them; the slaveish sooty race boasts a succession of Codringtons as well as Griggs and Russells, and others of low degree, and that a sober Mr. Perrie and old Col. Williams, as well as young Mr. Warner, are in the list of their paramours etc., etc., yet these are the men that charge me of a lewd life and conversation. If they produce one instance of lewdness or drunkenness against me, I will plead guilty to the whole charge. This black article has but two depositions, one of which (No. 144) is made by Mr. Chester, so eminently and frequently convicted of perjury in everyone of his depositions, etc. He is such a wretch it is a missfortune to be on the same island he is; and the obligation I owe his lady who generously informed me of a designe to assassinate me, which was overheard in her owne house, and which I thereby prevented, lay me under an obligation to do more then to wayte on her, to give her my advice, how she might most decently protect herselfe from a husband who had attempted to poyson her and seemed resolved to destroy her, etc. There is but one deposition relateing to any other Island, and indeed it is a dismall deposition as it stands unanswered. The first charge of endeavouring to ravish her, the second that for her husband's askeing me why I so used him, I ordered Mr. Helden to put him out of the Custom house, thirdly that by my order Col. Paine, Col. Panton and Judge Peters without hearing him granted a warrant to committ him unless he could give £2000 bayle, whereon he betooke himselfe to the woods, and that when she would have made oath to the Justices, they laughed att her, and sayd she did not cry out loud enough; fourthly that his great want, joined to the perswasion of those Justices, and the assureance of forgiveness drew him to a submission, and the fifth that the cruell usage made him quitt the Island to seeke a mintainance leaveing her and three children, and that he is since dead, and lastly that one Major Payne told her that Lt. Governour Lambert had a letter from me to desire her not to complaine, and that I would make her any satisfaction. The deposition of Col. Morris fully proves that after she swore she had been tempted by me and asked to be my housekeeper, which she highly resented, by which she must mean my whore or be perjured, she having lived in the same station with Lt. Governor Hamilton, yet this woman went into my chamber without any force, and neither cried out nor looked disordered when she came out. The second and third complaints are as notoriously false, I neither being on the Island or having to do with his being turned out of the Custom house, which the depositions (Nos. 181, 186) of Capt. Phipps and Mr. Rawleigh says was for bribery and male administrations and by direction from the Commissioner at Nevis. Her malice proceeds from my not granting her husband a letter to the Commissioner to keep him in his place, and that was her business with me when she pretends I dragged her thorough the hall. (2) The second of these Articles is so abominable false they do not pretend to give one instance of it unless they would bring under it the storys of Pelachio and Ann Bryan answer'd in the 10th Article. (3) The third Article is still more infamous in charging me with being concerned in a private trade with France after they have seen a crowd of evidences on oath clear me of it, even of everyone that commanded those Truces. Perhaps they think none but themselves fitt for any employ. And whereas they take a deposition that I sent one Capt. Bermingham, who they by an abstract of the Council Minutes prove I had a very ill opinion of, they vilely leave out how he cleared himself of the scandall, after which I employed him; and its strange that one who the Assembly trusted with a publick sloop in a time of eminent danger, should not be fitt to be trusted with a sloop and three hands to carry prisoners in, and this Gentleman was in better reputation than nine parts in ten of them that have signed this Article, none of whome would use him in this manner, had I not tyed up the hands of any that pretend to have a regard for me from resenting any ill usage, in complyance to the same submission the order of my Lord Sunderland lays me under, and which on their part has by no means been comply'd with, but (t)he highest and barefaced insults offered by them in the prosecution of the power they claimed from that order. And in defence to the complaint of the Assembly, I have on all occasions encouraged the prosecution of them, but I know no way of punishing any person any further or otherwise than the Law directs, which I having never obstructed or discountenanced, and which they do not pretend to give any proof of, can no way relate to me. And after all having discover'd some people carrying some provisions and other goods there whereon I consulted the Councill and all the Lawyers in order to their prosecution, they agreed that nothing but Naval Stores are prohibited being carryed there by Law. Tho' I have always indeavour'd to prevent any sort of trade there, as by the depositions of the Customhouse officers fully appears, and that I have frequently ordered them to search all flags of truce in order thereto, yet the beef which they are accused of, carried at times when it is cheap here and dear there, for which they bring ready money hither, is far from being so pernicious a trade to these Islands as they pretend, and that it is not so to Great Brittain appears that it is so publickly tolerated from Ireland that several large ships a year go directly there. But so little reason have they to complain of me in this head, that I have indeavored all I could to perswade the Gentlemen of the best fashion to go in such sloops for the honour of the Nation, and what care I have taken to preserve the Cartell since the Assembly has raised no tax to pay them or anything else is very eminent to the whole Island, and which is of the highest consequence to it. There being nigh 50 privateers in Martinico, and scarce seven belonging to this Government, the French have so great a superiority of prisoners that if they either exchanged man for man or sent them to France, these Islands would neither have any saylors to man their vessells or people to make any tolerable defence should the Island be attacked as every year it is in danger. Nor without it would the Northern vessells bring them any of those commoditys they so absolutely want, the sugar being too bad for their consumption, and the rumm 200 p.c. dearer then at Barbados. But the benefit of the Cartel encourages them against all these disadvantages, if a sailer is taken, he is by it immediately returned and follows his business, while they who trade to the other Governments by lying long in goal, and by being sent at last prisoners to Europe are put quite out of employ and ruined. Another very eminent advantage they have by it is that they gain intelligence of the designs of the French who are allways insulting them without any fear of the French makeing the like advantage, we being too weak to attempt anything against them. And I have therefore allways indeavored to preserve the Island so great a benefit, and to keep a Truce of so great advantage to them, sacred and inviolate. (4) The fourth Article is partly true. I did for some time after I came here hear complaints the Justices of the Peace might have done, hopeing to perswade the meaner people rather to agree and make up their disputes than go to Law, of which the story of Wharf and Sulivant is an instance, and alone serves for an Article. The woman that was beat took out an action, and having complained to me, I indeavoured to make it up, and found the fellow and his wife as flippant of their tongues as before of his fingers. I left them then to the Law, and this sawcy foul-tongued woman, who lay under the character of being a camp whore, and who might be guessed to be a Billingsgate one, provoked me to tell her she deserved the ducking-stool, which has since made as great a clamour as any action I have been accused of, tho' I neither attempted or ordered it, but she was a house-keeper, tho' a very mean one, and as the person of the meanest freehold is too sacred to be by any means molested on account of any money he owed, so neither must the person of any cottager be punished for any immorality, or be threatened with the stocks or pillory. But as they pretend to have no other proofs for the flagrant acts charged on me in this Article, or that I ever refused any complaints proper for me to hear or determine, or that they had not given me reason enough to meddle with what the Justices of the Peace might determine, I have said enough to this Article. Their last charge is fully answered in my letter to Lord Dartmouth and paper No. 190. In 149 is another instance how the turning of a word alters the sense of anything, and what masters they are in that trade, and which No. 132 fully proves.
What follows is a short answer to the depositions taken by one Drolenveaux in the other Islands, ex parte Mr. Nivine, att the same time keeping me at Antigua attending the depositions they were takeing here. (1) They begin with Mr. Crooke, whose long story turnes on his title to the estate of one Kerkhoff, who I shall prove when I come there to be an alien, and therefore on his death it reverts to H.M., who has allways allowed Her Chief Governor all escheats as a perquissitt, and which is the only one belonging to the Governour as Governour, and has not amounted to £800 sterl. since I came to it. Col. Johnson was inform'd of it, but just before my arriveall, by one Cunningham, Crooke's near neighbour, as their deposition mention, by which I knew it, and this very Crook would have given him four times as much for his title, but I came over before the bargain was concluded. If I bid him therefore not speake of it, which I don't remember, it must be that it might not be knowne for what a triffle I compounded my right, and that every one on such account might not expect it, for which he was then very thankfull, and how friendly I acted with him further, apeares that I have neither reciev'd a pound of the sugar, tho' 'tis four years since, nor ever sued him for it. The deposition of Mr. Southsay is as fully answer'd in the Articles as can be till I arrive at St. Kitts, and that of John Guilliard turnes on the time the Act commenced, that took away the Lord High Admirall's tenths, which is my perquissitt as Vice Admirall and has allways been recieved by whoever was so before me, but as he owns I was on board the Hector, so I shall prove that the Hector sailed with the Fleet June 19th, and that Act was not in force till June 24, and wee then only knew of it by report, for I did not recieve the Act till a long time after; and whereas he seems to insinuate I tooke more then my tenth, I in reallity tooke less, for he ownes there was 32 negroes and that I tooke but 3, and gave him 10 pistoles, because he said they were the three best. The deposition of Hutchinson insinuates that I knew of beef being carryed to Martineque, because the master of a beef vessell told him he was to sell some hundred of barrills to myselfe and Col. Panton. This man knew very well that Col. Panton bought but 50 for me, and that they were housed and delivered out to my plantation by Mr. Rawleigh, and serv'd them the whole yeare, which was made apeare by the oaths of Mr. Rawleigh and Col. Panton before the Councill and Assembly of St. Kitts, for upon heareing there was beefe went in that sloope I used my utmost indeavour to find out to whom it belonged in order to punnish them. All the proceedings are in the Minutes of the Councill of St. Kitts. But the interrogatories put by the complainants to Mr. Helden, Hartman and Buryeau cleare me. Mr. Helden's oath suffitiently cleares me also of that part of his affidavitt where he says Mr. Hilden told him a story about a will, and whereas he pretends he was by when I threatn'd how severe I would be to the people of Antigua, I remember no such expression, but 'tis plaine I have not been so, when no one inhabitant of Antigua has paid any fine, or been any otherwise punished since I came to the Government. The next is Elizabeth Boyd's oath she swears at the intercession of Mr. Bermingham, I gave a pardon to one that killed her husband, and that the man I pardon'd went to Guinea in my shipp. I never had to doe but with two that ever went to Guinea, and they were both lost long before her husband was killed, and I pardoned the man at the request of the Lt. Governour and sever all other Gentlemen, for to my knowledge I never saw him, and I did it to save the charges calling a Sessions would have cost, and 'tis certaine no jury could have brought him in guiltly of more then hommicide per misadventure, for the poor man shott his friend by the greatest chance in the world, both looking on a gunn that was loaden etc., and he begged both his wife and the Lt. Governour that his friend might not be troubled for his death.
The next is interrogatorries to Lt. Governour Lambert about an ingott of gould Mr. Vanbell made me a present of, and they insinuate a long story of a bond and negroes, wch. happned at least 8 yeares before I came to the Goverment, and 'twas such a piece of injustice the like was never heard off; Mr. Vanbell has a brother that is one of the Burgomasters of Amsterdam; he applyde himselfe to the Duke of Marlborough to write to me to do his brother what service I could, accordingly I did, for I not only perswaded those that were concern'd to deliver him what they had unjustly taken from him, but I also gave him some land, which was of considerable vallue. This man had gratitude enough to write to his brother to goe and thank the Duke for the favours I had done him. and some time after came and made me a present of an ingott of gould. This man is an Agent for the Brandenburghe Company at St. Thomass's, and is very rich, and has since sent me a fine horse. What service I did him was pure favour, he had no cause to be tryed before me, nor did I give him any liberty to do any unlawfull act, but made him a present (of some land in St. Kitts) for which he made me another. And when the complainants went to Mr. Vanbell, to ask him if I did not exact the ingott from him, he told them no, for he made me a present of it, and was sorry it was not of much greater vallue. The next is Edward Guillard's deposition, who tells a long story of my exchangeing a piece of land with him at St. Christophers, and that I gave him 20 pistoles to boot, I shall briefly tell the whole story, and when I can gett to St. Kitts shall take affidavitts to prove what I say.
At my first comeing to the Government, I found Nevis and St. Kitts destroyed by the French, and except Col. Lambert's, there was no place I could be at, for all the other houses were burnt; I had an order sent me to live either at Nevis or St. Kitts (and I haveing had the plague at Nevis) I chose to live at St. Kitts, and because I would not trouble Col. Lambert I designed to build a house in the towne of the Old Road, and had finished a handsom out-house, when the hurricane came and blew it downe, and being obliged by the order still to live there, I designed to build another house. Col. Lambert told me he would give me as much land in the towne as would build me a good house. At that time there was hardly any house left standing, and haveing a mind to build on a riseing ground, I asked whose land that was, that was in such a place. I was told it was Edward Guilyard's. I asked him to exchange with me; he readilly told me with all his heart; but next time I saw him, which was at Mr. Helden's, I asked him againe, he told me then he would sell it me, wee put it to the company to sett a price, and they sett 20 pistoles, which was truly more then it was worth, it not being a quarter of an acre. A bill of sale was made accordingly, and no mention made of any other land, but after this I told him to encourage him to build, that I would give him the proportion Col. Lambert promised me, but he then was not in an humour to build, but some time since he goes to Col. Lambert, and asked him for the land and would have it in such a place Col. Lambert was building on himselfe. When I came to the Generall Assembly that mett there, he came to me before the Councill and demanded the land, I calmely told him I was not oblieg'd to give him any further then I told him, after I had bought and paid for his land, he might have the land Col. Lambert promised me. I sent for Col. Lambert, who told me and him before the Councill, the land he promised me he would give him when he pleased, but he could not give him that very spott he was building on himselfe. This did not satisfie him; he wanted a handle to make a noise with. This was 3 years agoe, and this man never thought of it till last Aprill, when he and Hutchinson who made the first deposition had wronged a man who brought them before me in Chancery, and I decreed they should pay the poor man about £300, upon which this was trumpt up, and Hutchinson's hearsays in his affidavitt was thought on. I offered this man if he would pay me for the house I had built on the land as it should be vallued, he should have it, which he refused. I built a very good house, the best there by much, with a designe to live in it, but before it was quite finished. I had another order sent me to live at Antigua, (so hardly was I used) and have lived there ever since, and sold this house for much less then it cost me.
The next is interrogatorries put to Thos. Coppinn, about armes and stores he had out of the Fort at St. Kitts; by this they would insinuate as if I made use of the stores; there is powder and stores which belong to each Island, which is under the care of a Commissary, who makes up his accounts whenever the Assembly or Councill requires him, and because they will not be at the charge of giveing a sallary to one to keep the armes cleane, they lend them out to owners of privateer sloopes, who are oblieg'd to returne them in good order, or new in the place of those wanting, and new powder in the room of old, and the Commissary did no more to my privateer then is done to anyone that wants armes and will be at the charge of haveing them cleaned. Those that were lent to Coppin were all returned according to the usuall manner, and the receipt for them taken up from Capt. Burrill, who was the Commissary, and he has since made up his accounts, and had they not been returned, Capt. Burrill must have found others in their place. The next is interrogatorries put to Mr. Hilden Stephens and Borieaux about what the Queen sent as Her royal bounty to the inhabitants of Nevis and St. Kitts by Capt. Cammock, by which they indeavour to have it thought, I had converted some part to my owne use; when Capt. Cammock arrived I was att Antigua. I told him he was to deliver what he had to the Lieut. Governours of Nevis and St. Kitts. Accordingly he did, and the Lt. Governour and Councill of each Island distributed it as they thought fitt, and 'twas done long before I came to either of those Islands, and I shall prove by the oaths of the Lt. Governours and Councill, that I had no part directly nor indirectly, nor did I know what there was, nor to whome distributed, till they themselves gave me the account of the distribution which I sent home. When Capt. Medcalfe came with more beefe etc. from the Queen, I did the same, and Capt. Cammock and Capt. Medcalfe, who are in London, can affirme the same on oath. The next is the deposition of Christopher Acres that I took two Indians without paying for them; had this man and the rest sworne the whole truth, I need not to have been at any trouble to have answered. I had 6 Indians of the 14, a woman, 3 litle children and 2 men, and there was the sloop and other goods beside, and according to the apraizment of the whole, my tenths came to what I had within £40, which I paid said Akers; this was at my first comeing, two years before the Act of Parliament took away the tenths. The latter part of his deposition is answered in my answer to Gillyard's deposition supra.
The famous Mrs. Bowden is the next deponent. She now sweares what before she only put downe in her petition to the Queen, which was determined so much in my favour after a hearing before the Lords. The petition was by the Queen and Councill dismist with an epithite of scandallous and false, and I left to take my remedy at law against her, but because I gave her no trouble for it, she is in hopes now her name and the story may be forgott at home, and her oath may be read with the rest, but I will spend no more time on this scandallous woman, the report of the Lords Committee to her petition being a full answer to this her deposition; only observe yt. so many times she is perjured as there is different paragraphs in her deposition.
Col. Hodges' deposition is, as he has sworne it, a palpable lye, and had I seen this affidavitt before he died, by interrogateing him and confronting him with others that I had said the same thing too, I should have proved it false; this happned at my first comeing, as Sir Michael Cole can make oath, which he may know by the time that the letter was writt to me, to desire me to put Hodges in mind of his rent, and when I can gett to Mountserratt, I shall be able to prove at that time he had not lett the Plantation, which in his affidavitt he says he had done for two years before, so that if I prove him perjured in this, I hope the rest of his depossition may be esteemed no better. The story is this. When I spoke to him to send Sir Michael Cole his rent, he never told me he had rented it to any other, but said Sir Michael need not have been so very sharpe for his rent, for he might thanke him for it, or he had not got that Plantation. I told him if he could tell me how I might gett such another, I would give him more then such a summ, what I meant was, that as this estate of Sir Michael Coles was the estate of one that was on King James' side in Ireland, and so forfeited, I did not know but there might be severall other estates in Mountserratt under the same circumstances, and as I thought he had given Sir Michael Cole the information of this, if he would informe me of another, I would rewarde him for it. As to his giveing me his pattent, that could do me no service except he could have gott it from the Records also; for a Pattent both by the Law and my Instructions must pass in Councill with their consent and be so recorded, or else 'tis voide; but Sir Michael Cole's pattent, as I suppose, is under the Great Seale and is recorded in propper offices at home; what this man has swore is so ridiculous, none but the arrantest foole could be guilty off. That I threatn'd to turne him out is in part truth, but not the next day for wee were good friends long after this, but it was his tradeing with the French and Dutch, by meanes of Danish passes, in sloopes under the direction of Irish Papists (I once narrowly missed catching 4 or £5000 landed out of a Daneish sloope) and haveing given him repeated orders under my hand not to suffer the Daneish sloopes to come there, was the occation of our difference, and when I found that he suffered them to come, I then told him if he would not obey my orders I would suspend him, and did not doubt but it would be confirmed if I did. This was not till he had made this affidavitt and Nevin had carryed it home, and above a twelvemonth after I had given him my first orders about the Daneish sloopes. I also find he brought in one French (an Irish Papist) that was master of one of these sloopes, and lived att St. Thomass's, to make another scandallous affidavitt against me. I don't doubt he might have more of the same country and religion from the same place, to make any affidavitt to gett me removed, that have so industriously prevented their carrying on so profitable a trade.
Then comes one Drolenveaux, the Irish pettyfogger they employed to take these affidavitts ex parte in St. Kitts, Nevis and Mountserratt, and he makes oath that Mr. Rawleigh refused to give him coppys of an injunction granted to one Morriss, and that his brother had writt him not to do it by my order, and that the injunction was alter'd and was generall. All I remember of this and the alteration is they brought me an injunction dated at Antigua, and I being at St. Kitts told the Secretary it must be transcribed and dated at St. Kitts, if the Secretary of Antigua or St. Kitts have not done their duty, how can I helpe it, I never read any, nor do I know the proper forme. Where I finde it attested by the Clerke of the Office, I signe it in course, and the occation of his brother's writeing to him was, I heard he had deliver'd the originall papers out of the Office. I with warmth told his brother here what I had heard, which is what he writt him, as he tells me. And whenever the complainants please, I will give an order under my hand to the Secretary to give them 50 coppies, nor do I believe this story as he relates it, notwithstanding his Irish oath. This Drolenveaux makes another long oath, what he heard one French say. This French is an Irish Papist and an inhabitant of St. Thomass's, and was one of those that used to trade with a Daneish pass till I prevented him, and I should not have been surprized if he himselfe had sworne all Drolinveaux says he told him, and much more, tho' every tittle false, but I had a letter from Mr. Dardus at Mountserratt, that was att Antigua when Drolinveaux took this oath, who told French of it, and he denyed he ever told him any such thing, and offer'd to make oath of it; he has framed a fine story of my privateer's going to Curacoa with sugar, and bringing goods back: the true story is this, and shall be proved since they wou'd insinuate a reflection on me, the sloop tooke a prize loaden with French sugar, it could not be sent home, because of the great duty. The privateer wanting a new suit of sayles and allmost everything, she tooke in the prize sugar and went to Curacoa and there sold it, and was there fitted, she brought me in debt for the sugar did not sell for as much as her fitting out came too, which I paid the master, she brought no sort of goods that I know off from Curacoa. I was at St. Kitts when she was comeing in and had then seiz'd a sloop that came from Curacoa with hollands, etc., that belonged to Mr. Chester, and I bid the waiters go off and see if my sloope had any prohibitted goods in her; they found not any. The story about the £60 and Mr. Blake, you will find in the Minutes of Mountserratt sent to the Lords and very much for my honour. But I shall have it once more proved, and bring it with the rest. To prove every tittle here asserted, as soon as I can go to the other three Islands, I shall take a cloud of evidences. I have already sent severall depositions of people's being offer'd money and threattn'd these are pretty ways of getting affidavitts against a Governour. I have an account of the same practices used at the other Islands, and since Nivine went, a woman told me Chester and Cochran gave her three pistoles to sweare she had heard me say I had layne with the Dutchess, but after she gott the money, she laughed at them. Perrie and Tankerd gave one Kate Sullivan sixteen etc., to swear the same thing, but she haveing alsoe [con]fessed it to Mr. Helden, and he makeing oath of it, they thought fitt not produce her affidavitt. After such villainys, what creditt such people ought to meet with, I leave the world to judge. Signed, Daniel Parke. 104pp. [C.O. 7, 1. No. 19.]
Sept. 10.
392. Col. Nicholson and Col. Vetch to Mr. Popple. Compliments. We are just going abroad in order to put in execution H.M. commands, and hope by next oppertunity to acquaint their Lordships of our success, we shall not trouble you further, save to pray the favour of a line from you per first, with all the Court news. Signed, Francis Nicholson, Sam. Vetch. [C.O. 218, 1. p.1.]