America and West Indies: October 1718

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 30, 1717-1718. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1930.

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, 'America and West Indies: October 1718', in Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 30, 1717-1718, (London, 1930) pp. 359-381. British History Online [accessed 30 May 2024].

. "America and West Indies: October 1718", in Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 30, 1717-1718, (London, 1930) 359-381. British History Online, accessed May 30, 2024,

. "America and West Indies: October 1718", Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 30, 1717-1718, (London, 1930). 359-381. British History Online. Web. 30 May 2024,

October 1718

Oct. 2.
703. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Craggs. Refer to letter of 3rd July last. We desire to know H.M. pleasure, whether the Commissions for trying pirates may not now be sent by the first opportunity, sevl. of H.M. Governors having informed us they have for some time had in custody pirates who were taken and are consequently not intituld to H.M. gracious pardon. [C.O. 324, 10. pp. 207, 208.]
[Oct. 3.] 704. Francis Carlile of Antego, Gent., to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Possessed of a considerable estate in Antigua and proposing to return thither, he prays to be appointed to the Council in the room of Col. Wm. Thomas decd. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 12. No. 111.]
Oct. 4. 705. Mr. Barrington to Mr. Popple. Asks that John Yeamans may be appointed to vacancy in Council of Antigua, in accordance with the "promise" of the Board. (v. 26th June). Signed, J. Barrington. Endorsed, Recd., (from Edward Byam), Read 9th Oct., 1718. 2¼ pp. [C.O. 152, 12. No. 112.]
Oct. 7.
706. Mr. Popple to Richard West. Encloses letter and papers from Mr. Bridger, 26th Aug., with his Commission and Instructions and the Charter of the Massachusets Bay, and H.M. Instruction to Governor Shute. Continues:—I am to desire you will please carefully to persue the said papers and particularly to consider whether Mr. Bridger's Instructions are sufficiently vouched by the Acts therein mentioned, and whether it were to be wished that anything were added to the said Act or Acts to make the same more effectual; whereupon their Lordps., when you shall be prepared, would be glad to discourse with you. I desire you will please to return the inclosed book and papers. [C.O. 5, 915. p. 219.]
Oct. 7. 707. Merchants trading to New York to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Pray that the Act of New York for payment of debts may be taken into consideration, the said act subsisting until H.M. pleasure is known etc. Signed, Charles Lodwick and 7 others. Endorsed, Recd., Read 8th Oct., 1718. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1051. No. 77.]
Oct. 7.
708. Mr. Popple to Mr. West. Encloses Act of New York, 1715, for a general naturalization, with Sir E. Northey's report, and desires a draught of alterations proper to be recommended to Governor Hunter to be passed into a new law etc. [C.O. 5, 1124. p. 56.]
Oct. 7.
709. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Recommend repeal of Act of New York, 1714. for shortening law suits, quoting Sir E. Northey and Governor Hunter. [C.O. 5, 1124. pp. 57, 58; and (corrected draft) 5, 1079. No. 106.]
Oct. 9.
710. Mr. Popple to Mr. Barrington. Reply to 4th Oct. Quotes letter of 26th June. Concludes:—Their Lordships will consider this matter at the first convenient opportunity. [C.O. 153, 13. pp. 374, 375.]
Oct. 9.
Treasury Chambers.
711. Mr. Lowndes to Mr. Popple. My Lords Commrs. of H.M. Treasury desire that the Lords Commrs. for Trade and Plantations will consider the enclosed and give their Lordps. the best informacon they can concerning the said woods and H.M. right thereunto with their opinion what is fit to be done therein. Signed, W. Lowndes. Endorsed, Recd., Read 15th Oct., 1718. Addressed. 1 p. Enclosed,
711. i. Mr. Bridger to the Lords of the Admiralty. Duplicate of 26th Aug. [C.O. 5, 867. Nos. 15, 15 i.; and (without enclosure) 5, 915. p. 220.]
Oct. 9.
Admty. Office.
712. Mr. Burchett to Mr. Popple. Has written to Capts. Passenger and Wade to attend the Board of Trade upon Newfoundland matters etc. Signed, J. Burchett. Endorsed, Recd. 9th, Read 10th Oct., 1718. Addressed. ½ p. [C.O. 194, 6. No. 51.]
Oct. 10.
713. Governor Sir N. Lawes to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Acknowledges letter of July 25th with Commission for pardoning pirates etc. Continues:—I have publish'd a Proclamation signifying H.M. Royall pleasure in this particular, and sent coppys thereof to our neighbouring Colonies. H.M. goodness in extending his mercy even beyond what was promis'd, I hope will be an inducement for all those who has been anyways concern'd in pyracy to return to their due obedience and allegiance to H.M. Your Lordships will please to remember when I had the honor of attending your Board, I had the asurances given me that a Commission should be speedily prepared and dispatcht impowering me to appoint fit persons to try the accessarys of pyrates which I find very much wanted here. I therefore take the liberty of reminding your Lordships of it etc. Nothing material has hapned in our Assembly affaires etc. Signed, Nicholas Lawes. Endorsed, Recd. 17th, Read 18th Dec., 1718. 2¾ pp. [C.O. 137, 13. No. 20; and 138, 16. pp. 155, 156.]
Oct. 10.
Essex Buildings.
714. Sir John Bennett to Mr. Popple. Encloses following etc. Signed, Jo. Bennett. Endorsed, Recd. 10th Oct., 1718. 1 p. Enclosed,
714. i. Receipt for packet containing Lt. Gov. Bennett's Commission for pardoning pirates. Signed, Sam. Daffye, Capt. of the sloop Mary etc. Slip. [C.O. 37, 10. Nos. 11, 11 i.]
Oct. 10.
715. Mr. Popple to John Basket. Enquires what progress he has made in printing the New York Acts, and desires to see the printed book he has. [C.O. 5, 1124. p. 59.]
Oct. 11.
General Post Office.
716. Mr. Lloyd to Mr. Popple. Encloses following. Signed, John Lloyd. Endorsed, Recd. 14th Oct., 1718. 1 p. Enclosed,
716. i. Receipt for Commission for pardoning pirates at Barbadoes. Deale. Oct. 7, 1718. Signed, Mary Watte, on behalf of Capt. Cobb. 1 p. [C.O. 28, 15. Nos. 37, 37 i.]
Oct. 13.
Beckett House.
717. Mr. Barrington to Mr. Popple. Regrets his mistake. v. 9th Oct. His nephew has gone to Antigua in the opinion that the minute was absolutely in his favour etc. Signed, J. Barrington. Endorsed, Recd., Read 16th Oct., 1718. Sealed. 1¾ pp. [C.O. 152, 12. No. 113.]
Oct. 13.
New York.
718. Governor Hunter to Mr. Popple. Abstract. The General Assembly has passed an act remedying clauses in former revenue acts to which the Board objected. At the same time they presented enclosed representation to be communicated when he shall appear before their Lordships. Believes he will be able to convince them that the people here are not so much in the wrong as has been suggested. Has no correspondent left, so that he must come home to recover the old or establish the new. Lays hold of Mr. Popple's friendship as his main comfort. Set out, N.Y. Col. Docs. V., p. 518. Signed, Ro. Hunter. Endorsed, Recd. 15th Dec., 1718. Read 23rd April, 1719. Holograph. 3 pp. Enclosed,
718. i. Representation of Assembly of New York to Governor Hunter, on the Act amending clauses in the Revenue Act. v. preceding. Signed, Rt. Livingston, Speaker, Lewis Morris and 21 others. Same endorsement. 12¾ pp. [C.O. 5, 1051. Nos. 87, 87 i.; and (without enclosure), 5, 1124. p. 87.]
Oct. 14.
Hampton Court.
719. H.M. Warrant granting licence of absence for twelve months longer to William Matthew, Lt. Genl. of the Leeward Islands, and Lt. Governor of St. Christophers. Countersigned, J. Craggs. [C.O. 324, 33. pp. 188, 189.]
Oct. 14.
720. Council of Trade and Plantations to Lt. Governor Bennett. Acknowledge letters of 3rd and 16th Feb., 29th March and 31st May. Continue:—We did without loss of time lay before H.M. your account of the surrender of the pirates, being glad to find so good an effect from your diligence in sending H.M. Proclamation to the Isle of Providence. We cou'd have wished the like success had continu'd but we perceive by your last the state of that case is very much alter'd. You will have recd. before this comes to your hands H.M. Commission under the Great Seal for pardoning such pirates as have surrender'd within the terms prescrib'd by the Proclamation, and thereby entituled themselves to mercy, but as for the doubts rais'd by the pirates concerning their effects and the particular hardships of Cpt. Fife's case we can at present give you no opinion. But these matters together with the other informations you have given us relating to the pirates have been transmitted to Mr. Secry. Craggs to be laid before H.M., and when we receive his orders thereupon we shall communicate them to you by the first opportunity. We have recd. the Acts and public papers wch. you transmitted 30th July, 1717, and desire you will be punctual in sending to us all such papers as you are requir'd to transmit to us by your Instructions by the first opportunity, and particularly such as you will find by the list enclos'd to be wanting. We have made some observations upon the several Acts pass'd in Bermuda since H.M. accession to the Throne, which you will likewise receive herewith for your better government in the form and method of passing Acts for the future. Annexed,
720. i. Public papers wanting from Bermuda. (i.) Minutes of Council and Assembly, 2nd March 1707/8—to 1718. (ii.) Naval Officers lists wanting for several years backward.
720. ii. Observations upon Acts passed in Bermuda in 1715 and 1717. (i.) An additional clause to an Act for the better observation of the Lords Day commonly called Sunday. The title is a very odd one and by the preamble the very title is made a part of the Act. However the intention of the Act being good it lys by probational. (ii.) An Act for alteration and amendment of several Acts of Assembly. The dates or time of passing as well as the exact titles of every Act alter'd or to which any addition is made shou'd be recited, which is not done in this Act, But shou'd be observ'd for the future; This Act lyes by probational. (iii.) An Act for prolonging the Act to supply the deficiency of the several funds in these Islands for and towards the building a new house for the present and future Governors, pass'd in 1715. The title of this Act like that of the first is made a part of the Act. The continuing clause mighty oddly worded. The time of passing and of the expiration of the Act to supply the deficiency etc. shou'd have been particularly mention'd. This Act to lye by probational. (iv.) An Act for limiting the time the names of such persons as are bound of these Islands shall be published. To lye by. (v.) An additional clause to an Act to supply the deficiency of the several funds in these Islands for and towards the building a new house for the present and succeeding Governors, pass'd in 1717. The title lyable to the same objections as the Act No. 1, and the last clause which declares this to be part member and parcel of the Act to which it referrs is something unusual. This Act to lye by. The Prayer for the enacting part of the Acts abovemention'd being to the King from the Assembly only is a mistake by following the stile us'd in, and peculiar to Acts of Parliament for granting mony, the stile in other Acts being different. [C.O. 38, 7. pp. 358–362.]
Oct. 14. 721. Mr. Baskett to Mr. Popple. I have herewith sent you the printed book of Plantation Laws, and intend to put 2 or 3 compositors about it, that it may be speedily compleated etc. Signed, John Baskett. Endorsed, Recd. 14th, Read 22nd Oct., 1718. ½ p. [C.O. 5, 1051. No. 79.]
Oct. 14.
722. Governor Hamilton to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses two Acts bearing date the second day of this instant month of October, the one for laying an additional duty on liquors, and the other for laying a duty of powder on all trading vessels. As they are laws that will affect the trade and shiping of Great Britain when they come to this Island, I have taken care to get a clause inserted in each of them to prevent their taking place until they are approved and confirmed by H.M. in obedience to the Additional Instruction which I received lately bearing date 27th Sept., 1717. But nevertheless I must beg leave to acquaint your Lordships, that laws of this nature have been frequently passed in this and the other Islands belonging to H.M. in these parts, and indeed are very necessary in order to supply our forts and fortifications with powder as well as to raise mony to help defray the incident charges of the Government, for which reason if your Lordships shall be of opinion that they are fit to be confirmed, I beg that they may be laid before H.M. with all possible expedition, to the end they may be returned with the utmost speed, for until then the publick will loose the benefit that use to result from Acts of this nature, in regard no collection can be made of the dutys intended on shipping or liquors until it shall be known that the said Acts have received the Royal assent. In the Act for laying a duty on liquors your Lordships will find a clause declaring that no money raised by virtue of that Act shall be paid by the Treasurer or his Deputy for the time being by virtue of any order or authority whatsoever unless by order in writing signed by the Commander in Chief Governour or President of the Council with one Member of the Council and the Speaker of the Assembly, which I know is contrary to my Instructions but as the Act is not to take place untill it has received H.M. assent, I am in hopes your Lordships will be of opinion that my consenting to the said Act with that clause in it can be no breach of my said Instruction in regard it cannot have any effect untill it has obtained the Royal assent which if H.M. shall be pleased to give will be a sufficient dispensation of my said Instructions. All orders for payment of publick mony have been issued in that manner ever since the settlement of the Island as I am informed, which I have signifyed to the Assembly is contrary to my Instructions from H.M., and that I had reason to fear it might be a means to obstruct the passing the Act at home; but nevertheless I could not prevail with them to pass the said Act without the said clause, which, with what I have already offered, will I hope be sufficient to excuse me to your Lordships for assenting to it, and the rather for that if the said Act be rejected upon that account it will convince those Gentlemen that H.M. will not admit of his Instructions to be dispensed with on any terms, the observing whereof has occasioned more than a little dispute between that House and myself, as your Lordships may perceive by the Minutes here inclosed. There is also a clause in the Powder Act, which is reinforced by the present Law, that enjoins the powder Officer to be nominated by the Governour, Council and Assembly, as your Lordships may observe by a copy thereof herewith sent which I take to be an incroachment on H.M. Prerogative and have accordingly signifyed the same to the Assembly. However as it has been always usual for that officer to be appointed in that manner, they prayed I would consent thereto in hopes that H.M. will be pleased to admit them to enjoy their former custom in that matter, to which, upon their earnest request, I thought fit to condescend, well knowing that no inconveniency could thereby arise to H.M. if he did not see fit to pass the said law in regard there is a clause in the said new Act to prevent its taking place untill it is confirmed by H.M. which I hope will be sufficient to justify what is done therein by May it please your Lordships your Lordships most obedient and most dutifull humble servant, Signed, W. Hamilton. Endorsed, Recd. 11th, Read 16th Dec., 1718. 2½ pp. Enclosed,
722. i. Minutes of Council and Assembly of Antigua. St. Johns, 18th Sept., 1718. The Assembly addressed H.E., protesting against his literal exposition of his Instructions to the prejudice of the Colony in prohibiting laws so fundamental to their Constitution etc. Sept. 23rd. Parham. Governor Hamilton's reply to the Assembly and their answer. Same endorsement. Copy. 7½ pp. [C.O. 152, 12. Nos. 119, 119 i.]
723. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Craggs. Having some time since received accounts of the great settlements the French are making on the back of ye British Plantations in America from ye River of St. Lawrence southward to ye mouth of Missisippi in the Bay of Mexico, and considering how detrimental the same may prove to the trade of these Kingdoms; we wrote circular letters to H.M. Governors upon that Continent to send us the fullest informations they could get of the state of the said new settlements, together with their opinion concerning the proper measures to be taken by H.M. upon this occasion and in answer have received letters from Brigr. Hunter (v. July 7th) and Col. Spotswood. Enclose extracts to be laid before H.M. for his directions therein. [C.O. 5, 1124. p. 60.]
Oct. 15. 724. Mr. Philips to Mr. Popple. Encloses following. Signed, A. Philips. Endorsed, Recd. 16th Oct., 1718, Read 16th Aug., 1720. 1 p. Enclosed,
724. i. Governor Hunter to Mr. Philips. N. York. Aug. 15, 1718. A summ of money has been sent from hence to procure the disallowance of our money Acts etc. I know not the objections; but I foresee an inevitable necessity of my coming home for that very purpose; for it is impossible to answer as one should at this distance, or to instruct another. I do affirm, that this is, at present, the most flourishing Province in trade and creditt. Our money bills are now, at least, thirty pr. cent. better than those of New England, on their own Exchange, and equall to silver all round about us. The trade of this place is increased most conspicuously, as the Quarterly accounts sent to the Lords of Trade will shew. If any of this place have been so wicked, as to employ any person in the foul work before mentioned, their resolution must be to leave it, having ruined it etc. Should this Province be undone, I will make good in the face of the world, that there are more hearty, zealous and sincerely dutifull subjects of H.M. undone, than could be by any generall ruine to the same proportion of people in any other part; and that by the means of some, who have no manner of pretence to that character. I earnestly desire, that nothing may be resolved, till I am brought face to face to answer these or any other men, as to what I have done in my station. Extract. Signed, A. Philips. 2¾ pp.
724. ii. Minute of Council of New York. 2nd July, 1718. Ordering following Representation to be signed etc. 1 p.
724. iii. Representation of the Council and Assembly of New York to the Lords Committee for hearing appeals from the Plantations. Reply to Mr. Mulford's complaints and defence of Governor Hunter. Duplicate of No. 603 iii. [C.O. 5, 1052. ff. 38–44.]
Oct. 15/26. 725. A. Hollander and others to the Directors of the Dutch West India Company. Signed, A Hollander and other settlers. Endorsed, Read 27th April (N.S.), 1719. Dutch. 6 pp. Enclosed,
725. i. Duplicate of preceding.
725. ii. Correspondence of same with Commandant Van der Heyden Rezen etc. Copies. Dutch. 4½ pp. [C.O. 116, 21. Nos. 163, 163 i.–ii.]
Oct. 16.
726. Mr. Popple to Mr. Lowndes. Reply to 9th Oct. The Council of Trade and Plantations have already communicated the papers on that subject to Mr. West, H.M. Council learned in the Law appointed to attend the service of the Commission for Trade. As soon as they shall receive his opinion, their Lordps. will lay a state of that matter before the Lords of the Treasury. [C.O. 5, 915. p. 222.]
Oct. 17.
727. Lt. Governor Keith to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses Act of Assembly for H.M. approbation. Continues:—It generally contains such an amendment of our criminal law, as will bring the constitution of this Colonie much nearer to that of Great Britain than formerly it was etc. Signed, W. Keith. Endorsed, Recd. 4th, Read 5th Feb., 171/1. Addressed. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1265. No. 114; and 5, 1293. p. 162.]
Oct. 18. 728. John Baskett to Mr. Popple. Requests him to send another book of the Plantation Laws, to be printed etc. Signed, John Baskett. Endorsed, Recd. 18th, Read 22nd Oct., 1718. Addressed. ½ p. Mem. The first vol. of Bermuda Laws was sent. [C.O. 37, 10. No. 12.]
Oct. 18.
729. (a) Depositions of John Barnard, James Welch, John Lavicountt, planters of Antigua, and of Ambrose Marchant, carpenter, relating to the new Church at St. Phillips. 4 pp.
(b) Deposition of the Church Wardens and major part of the Vestry of St. Phillips, Antigua. Three quarters of the parishioners were and are against building the new Church, which is near the boundary. The old Church is in Bridge Town, very commodious and convenient. There is a commodious chapel of ease in the division of Belfast. Each capable of containing the whole of the parishioners etc. Signed, Thomas Elmes, Jos. Ledeatt, Churchwardens; W. Steele, Benja. Wickham, Henry Symes, Jno. Lavicountt, senr., John Witts, Jno. Barnard, Timo. Singin. 1 p. The whole endorsed, Recd., Read 2nd Feb., 1719/20. [C.O. 152, 13. ff. 8–13.]
Oct. 21.
Charles town, South Carolina.
730. Governor and Council of South Carolina to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Lately two pirate vessels, commanded by one Vane, lay of the barr of this harbour, as they have often done, and took a ship from Guiney with negros, and two sloops bound in, and the next day attack't four ships outward bound, but what success, he had with them wee cou'd not be inform'd, however their insults, and receiveing advice that wee might expect the same usage from another, who was careening, and refilling in Cape Fear River, obliged the Governr. (thô very unable both for want of men and money) to fitt out a force to go and attack them, and accordingly two sloops, one commanded by Capt. Masters and the other by Capt. Hall, with about, 130 men were gott ready wth. all the dispatch wee cou'd. and Collo. William Rhett commanded the whole, who sail'd southerly first, in search of Vane, but not being able to meet with, or gain intelligence of him, he steered for Cape Feare River, in which he found a sloop of 8 gunns and 50 men, commanded by a Majr. Stede Bonett, and two prizes, sloops belonging to New England. On seeing our vessells enter the River, they endeavoured to gett out, and in the chase, all the three sloops run aground on some shoals, But that commanded by Capt. Masters, in which Collo. Rhett was, lay within musqt. shott of the pirate, and the water falling away (it being ebb) she keel'd towards him, which exposed our men very much to their fire, for near six hours, dureing wch. time they were engaged very warmly, untill the water riseing sett our sloops afloat, about an hour before the priate, when Collo. Rhett makeing the signall, and they prepair'd to board him, which the pirate seeing, sent a white flagg, and after some short time, surrender'd, on Collo. Rhett's promising he wou'd interceed for mercy. Wee had killed on board Collo. Rhett eight men and fourteen wounded, of which four are since dead, and on board Capt. Hall, two killed and six wounded. The said pirates are now prisoners here, and wee are prepairing for their tryall. This undertaking, besides that it has been a considerable expence to us, will (wee apprehend) very much irretate the pirates who infest this coast in great numbers. Wee become therefore humble sutors to your Lordships, that you will be pleased to lay before H.M. the great danger our trade and Collony are in from them, they having at some times blocked up our harbour for eight or ten days together, and taken all that have come in or gone out, and plundered them, where they have not thought the vessells fitt for their purpose. In procureing a vessell it will be of the greatest service to the trade not only of this Collony, but of all these parts etc. Signed, Robt. Johnson, A. Skene, Nicholas Trott, Tho. Broughton, Char. Hart, Fra. Yonge. Endorsed, Recd. 29th May, Read 11th June, 1719. 3 pp. [C.O. 5, 1265. No. 121; and 5, 1293. pp. 173–175.]
Oct. 22.
731. Mr. Popple to Nicholas Lechmere, H.M. Attorney General. Encloses extracts from Lt. Governor Spotswood's letter etc., 14th Aug. The Council of Trade and Plantations desire your opinion whether H.M. or the several vestries of the parishes in Virginia have the right of patronage presentation and collating to ecclesiastical benefices, or what right either have. Also whether an Assembly under adjournment or prorogation may be prorogu'd by proclamation without a meeting according to such previous adjournmt. or prorogation. N.B. A like letter was writ to Mr. Sollicitor General and Mr. West. [C.O. 5, 1365. pp. 170, 171.]
Oct. 23.
732. Lt. Governor Keith to Mr. Popple. I have just received letters of 15th and 19th March. I shall forthwith apply myself to obey their Ldships. commands etc. Signed, W. Keith. Endorsed, Recd. 22nd Dec., 1718, Read 10th Feb., 171. Addressed. ¾ p. [C.O. 5, 1265. No. 115.]
Oct. 23.
733. Mr. Gordon to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses a sermon, with preface, in answer to Governor Lowther's reflections upon his character and conduct etc. Signed, W. Gordon. Endorsed, Recd. 24th, Read 28th Oct., 1718. 2 pp. [C.O. 28, 15. No. 38; and. 29, 13. pp. 479, 480.]
Oct. 23.
734. Mr. Popple to John Basket. Returns book of New York laws (v. 10th Oct.), and sends book of Bermuda Acts to be printed as the other. These Bermuda Acts have ye notes in the margin that are to be upon them. In folio 4, there is nothing but the title of an Act, which title must be printed, and a blank of a page or two left, for writing the Act in, when it shall be found, which is at present mislaid. The Council of Trade and Plantations desire all the dispatch possible in ye printing these laws. [C.O. 5, 1124. p. 61.]
Oct. 24.
735. Mr. Bridger to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Here has been a report for some time of my [being] superseeded, and by the last post from boston I have recd. the surprissing and unwelcome news that one Mr. Burriston has a Commission for my post and that the sallary commences from 19th June last; I humbly pray your Lordps. will not let me suffer who has done the duty ever since at a 1000 leeagus distant and had no certainty of it till now, and yet not from any office, my leters informes me that I was removed by the insinuations and mal[icious] contrivances of Mr. Dummer, whom I know to be a falce and [cum]ning person, and what further strengthens my oppinion is that he wrot to the Govr. that my post was represented to be worth 5 or £600 pr. annum wch. is most notorious[ly false], for he could not think any such thing having as he said the Commission in his hand which sets forth the salary; In the 2nd place Dummer writes to the Leivt. Governor of this place [that] I was turned out but he had no hand in it, and by the talke he made to some of my friends in London, he was the only person that first moved in it, and the only person yt. knew [it in] London first, adding that such a day the King signed the Commission and that the person [was to] act by a Deputy. If so H.M. Officers here are in very [poor] but dangerous circumstances, for here my life is threatened if found on my duty in the woods [and at] home if not agreeable to the Agent turn'd out, without any fault assigned but what this Agent shall suggest; and so he turned out the Leivt. Governor of Boston by the [assistance] of Sr. William Ashurst to whom Dummer had insinuated that Col. Taylor was a Jacobi[te and] was turned out imediatly upon it, and I am of oppinion that my asserting and maintaining H.M. title to the woods, against the Charter, and people, have disgusted this great [man] and I must fall a victim to his malice, the rumor of my being turn'd out has spread [through] the country, the people next the woods threaten what they will do, and have begun to cut [and] destroy all before them etc. I have yesterday given £5 to [two] persons to lay in the woods to make discovery of this destruction [and design to find it out cost what it will for should] I now leave my post many thousands [of good] mast trees would be destroyed in one month, which consideration keeps me on [my duty] and I hope your Lordps. will not let me suffer for want of my salary, till a person arrives to take it from me etc. The Governor has promised me to represent to your Lordps. the necessity of the service etc., and the ill consequences that would attend my repairing home at a time when so much destruction is like to follow it, etc. I have not directly nor indirectly recd. one shilling since my being here etc. Emphasises his knowledge of the woods and people. Prays their Lordships to remember that "I have been here but one year, and a month, since I renewed my Commission, which cost me while I was a soliciting it £500, that after 22 years faithful service in this country, to be turned out and obliged to beg my bread" etc. Signed, J. Bridger. Endorsed, Recd. 29th Nov., 1718, Read 4th Feb., 1718/19. Edges torn. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 867. No. 27; and 5, 915. pp. 244–248.]
Oct. 26.
736. Governor Hamilton to the Council of Trade and Plantations. On the 13th currant arrived Capt. Gibbons in the Cadogan, who brought me your Lordship's command's of the 4th April, and 8th May and 21st June, together with your Lordships' observations on the severall Acts past since H.M. happy accession etc., of all which I take particular notice etc. In order to gett the Minutes of the Councell and Assembly that are wanting transmitted to your Lordships, I have directions to the severall officers for transcribing them, and as soon as they are compleated and delivered to me, they shall be transmitted to your Lordships, likewise rest assured that the next conveyance from hence will bring you the Minutes of this Island from the time of my arrivall to the 31st March last, if not to the 25th of Sept. the greatest part of them being alreaddy transcribed, and for the future your Lordships may be assured they shall be quarterly transmitted you or as opertunity's offer, I having enjoyned the Clerks of the Assemblys of the severall Islands as well as the Secretarys to deliver me the saied minutes by the 25th of March next under paine of being suspended as your Lordship's may perceive by a copy of the orders herewith sent, which I hope will oblige each of them not only to let me have the minutes of the other Islands by that time but to do theire dutys for the future. I also observe that in the Memoriall which your Lordships have sent of the papers that are wanting, you mention the Navall Officers List's, but do not distinguish of what, so that I must beg your Lordship's by the first to explaine the same in regard I know not what lists your Lordship's would have unless it be those. relating to the importation of good's from Madera and the Western Islands, which if it be, your Lordships will receive them before this can gett to hand etc. I am inclinable to think the affaire of Coll. Crooke will give your Lordship's no farther trouble. But if it should I am reddy to justify what I formerly alledged against him. Your Lordships directions, 4 of Aprill, to use my best endeavours to dispose the inhabitants of Spanish Towne and Tortola to waite patiently where they are untill they can be setled in Saint Christophers will I hope be fully answered by the Proclamations I formerly issued etc. Nothing on my part shall be wanting punctually to observe your Lordship commands on this occasion. I formerly transmitted your Lordship's the answer I had from the Danish Governour at Saint Thomas's since when I have had no farther account relating to that affaire, saving that the Danes do still go forward with theire setlement on the Island of Saint Johns which againe obliges me to beg that your Lordship's will be pleased to lett me know what farther methods I am to take therein, the Gentleman Capt. John Marshall of Coll. Richard Lucas's Regiment whom I formerly mentioned to your Lordship's to have sent the message by to the Danish Governr. Com's for Britaine by this opertunity, to whom I farther refer your Lordship's as to the answer the saied Governour gave then. I am extreamly pleased to hear that your Lordship's have an account of some of the pirates at Providence have surrendered themselves etc. I wish they may all have sence enough to returne to theire duty. But I cannot help fearing the same, in regard it's but verry lately that wee have had an account of theire being on the coast of Carolina, and other part's of the maine, where they have taken and plundered severall vessell's, of which I am perswaded your Lordship's will have advice before this can gett to hand. Therefore I shan't now trouble your Lordship's etc., only to say that I don't at present hear of any being in these seas. But how soone we may is uncertaine, the season of the year being at hand, that will force them from the Northerne Collony's. The paragraph of your Lordship's letter relating to the Act past in this Island for prohibitting the importation of French and other forreigne sugar now lyes before me, and in answer to that part which relates to the Assembly, your Lordships may be assured that I will communicate the same to them, and when I have theire answer I shall take care to transmitt it to your Lordship's, untill when I must beg leave to defer answering the rest of your Lordship's letter relating to that Act. And as to the next paragraph reminding me of sending my observations upon all the Act's by me to be transmitted to your Lordships with my reasons for passing the same, I shall take care to be verry punctuall in for the future, which I hope will excuse my omission of that kind for the time past. Your Lordships of the 8th of May last relating to the Act to quiet present possessors of lands and to limit actions, and avoid suits in law, shall likewise be laid before the Assembly at theire next meeting, and I do not doubt, but they will verry thankfully agree to pass a new act for that purpose according to your Lordship's directions etc. I remarck the defect which your Lordships have taken notice of in the private Acts of the Leeward Islands, for want of a clause saving the right of H.M. his heires etc. which I shall take care shall be inserted for the future in all private bill's, as well as punctually to observe severall other articles of my Instructions relating to the passing and transmitting my particular observations on them. I hope my conduct in the suspending of Coll. Thomas Morris will meet your Lordship's approbation, I having nothing in view in that matter but H.M. honour, which I look to be much abused by that Gentleman whose character I am perswaded will not appear very extraordinary when it com's to be examined into by your Lordship's. I take notice of the informations that have been given your Lordship's of the vacancies in the Councill of St. Christophers as well as of the observations that your Lordships have been pleased to make upon that occasion. In answer to which I must begg leave to acquaint your Lordship's that by my letter of 6th Feb., 1716/7 I gave your Lordship's an acct. of Mr. Helden's refusing to act, and tho' I have omitted hitherto to give your Lordship's an account of the death of Coll. Jno. Panton and Majr. Ralph Willett yett there has alway's been a sufficient number to make a Councill, so that H.M. affaires have in no respect thereby suffered. However for the future your Lordships may be assured that I will be verry exact in that as well as other particulars, and therefore I take this opertunity to acquaint your Lordship that I had an acct. from St. Christophers about ten day's ago that John Duport Esq. a member of the Councill of that Island is lately dead so that there now remaines but six members at present upon the Island, the Lieutenant Generall and Lt. Governr. William Mathew Esq. being absent by leave from H.M., and John Willett Esq. by leave from myselfe having been gone for England near eight month's where his stay is uncertaine, for which reason I intend to swear Coll. William Woodrope Capt. William McDowall and Capt. John Garnett as members of the Councill of that Island at my next going thither (which I intend in a few day's) and therefore I beg leave to recommend them to your Lordship's and to desire that you will be pleased to afford your offices in recommending them to H.M. and getting mandamusses for theire confirmation and continuance they being Gentlemen of undoubted loyalty and affection to H.M. person and Government, as well as to the Protestant Succession, and withall of verry good interest's in the saied Island. As to your Lordship's commands directing that no more places may be appoynted for collecting the duty of 4½ p.c. in this Island untill I have given your Lordship's notice and receive your answer thereto, you may please to be assured that I shall take care punctually to obey the same. And withall your Lordship's may depend that I won't omitt observing the last part of your letter directing me to give you advice of the absence of Councellours etc. Refers to enclosure i., extending the leave of Coll. Vall. Morris, "which I hope will meet your Lordship's approbation. He is a Gentleman of unquestionable zeal for H.M. and the Royall family as also of a distingueshed character as to his sense and ability and likewise has a considerable fortune amongst us, and as he has the honour to be Lt. Collonell of H.M. Regiment of Foot in these Islands, I cannot but take leave to recommend him to your Lordships and to desire that he may be nominated to be of the Councill in the severall Island's of this Government. His going for England was by leave from myself, minuted in the Councill Book, but not under my hand and seal it not being usuall heretofore. However I shall conforme thereto for the future. Coll. William Thomas and Coll. John Frey two other Members of the Councill of this Island are likewise absent by leave from me minuted on the Councill Book they are boath in England. But the liberty granted to the former is long since expired, it being only for twelve months, and he has been gon upwards of eighteen, having left this Island in the moneth of Aprill 1717 or thereabouts, since when I have had no farther application from him for renewing his licence, so know not, whether he intends to returne againe to this Island, or not. The latter went hence in the moneth of May last past, and had liberty to be absent for twelve moneths of which terme there is yett a pretty deal to come, before the expiration whereof, I suppose he will either returne, or apply to have his licence renewed, which if he dos shall be communicated to your Lordships by" etc., Signed, W. Hamilton. Endorsed, Recd. 23rd Dec., 1718, Read 21st Jan., 1718/9. Holograph. 3½pp. Enclosed,
736. i. Governor Hamilton's licence to Coll. Vallentine Morris, Member of Council of Antigua, to be absent on leave for a further 18 months. 15th Oct., 1718. Signed and endorsed as preceding. Copy. 1 p.
736. ii. Governor Hamilton's Order to the Secretaries, Deputy Secretaries and Clerks of Assemblies of the several Leeward Islands, to deliver to him copies of the Minutes of Council and Assembly, lacking and required by the Council of Trade (24th June), by 25th March next, and to deliver copies of the Minutes of Council and Assembly quarterly henceforward, on pain of suspension etc. Signed and endorsed as preceding. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 12. Nos. 124, 124 i., ii.]
Oct. 31.
Nassau on Providence.
737. Governor Woodes Rogers to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Pursuant to my Instructions I take leave to acquaint your Lordships, I arriv'd in this port 26th July in company with the men of warr ordered to assist me. I met with little opposition in coming in, but found a French ship.(that was taken by the pirates of 22 guns) burning in the harbour, which we were told was set on fire to drive out H.M.S. the Rose who got in too eagerly the evening before me, and cut here cables and run out in the night for fear of being burnt, by one Charles Vane who command'd the pirates and at ours and H.M.S. the Milford's near approach the next morning they finding it impossible to escape us, he with about 90 men fled away in a sloop wearing the black flag, and fir'd guns of defiance when they perceiv'd their sloop out sayl'd the two that I sent to chase them hence. On the 27th I landed and took possession of the fort, where I read H.M. Commission in the presence of my officers, soldiers and about 300 of the people found here, who received me under armes and readily surrendered, shewing then many tokens of joy for the re-introduction of Governmt. I sent officers ashoar at first coming in, but by means of our ship and H.M. ship the Milford running aground I delayed my landing till this day. After I had made the necessary enquirys after the characters of the inhabitants who had not been pirates, I got information of a few that were the least encouragers of trading with them, six of whom I nominated and sworn with the six I chose out of those brought with me to compleat H.M. Council here. Their names, vizt. These came wth. me:—Robert Beauchamp, William Salter, William Fairfax, William Walker, Wingate Gale, George Hooper. These are inhabitants:—Nathaniel Taylor, Richd. Thompson Edwd. Holmes, Thos Barnard, Thos Spencer, Saml. Watkins. But since their election Messrs. Salter and Watkin are dead into whose places Christopher Gale and Thos. Walker have been chosen. I have occation to recommend in a particular manner Messrs. Beauchamp and Fairfax, Colo. Gale, Capt. Gale and Mr. Hooper yt. came here with me their firm adhearance to H.M. interest and diligence here deserve all the regard I can now shew them and hope H.M. will please to confirm them of his Council here. Those six I found here are men of the best morals amongst the people, and I believe are capeable to advise us of anything relating to lands on the Bahamas, till more fit persons arrive to settle here. I have appointed by my Commission Robt. Beauchamp Esq. first Lieut. of my Independant Company under my command to be Secretary General of these Islands and I do earnestly sollicit your Lordships to interceed with H.M. that he may have a patent for that place, because he is very capable and the long fatigues he has and may yet endure render him deserving of the greatest rewards I can procure him here. Christopher Gale Esq. I have made Chief Justice, because he maintain'd an honest and genteel character during the 13 years he was in that office at No. Carolina by favour of my Lord Carteret, but being very willing to change his living on that Colony, beleiving he could do more good in this, I hope your Lordship will be pleased to offer him to H.M. pleasure for that office. I have added in the Commission to be Assistant Justices Wm. Fairfax and Thomas Walker Esqrs. whom I beleive will do justice and act honourable. Mr. Fairfax is by Patent Judge of the Admiralty but without an annual salary, the office is but barely honble. for want of support, I did indeed receive an order from the Lords of the Treasury to appoint him Deputy to Mr. Graves Collector in case of that old man's inability to act, wch. he has not been able to do otherwise then in his chamber or bed, but is of so petulant a temper that I have been unwilling to interfere, and Mr. Fairfax not pressing to serve under such a peevish gentleman without the manner of his acting and pay, or fees, was settled for wch. I have no direction how to divide it, and Mr. Graves having no other support but this employ wch. he has been several years possess'd of. I am very unwilling to meddle in this affair without its first being settled in England. But beg leave to propose for H.M. approbation that Mr. Graves may enjoy his annual sallary of £70, and the fees of Collector will content Mr. Fairfax during Mr. Graves's life etc. Capt. Gale is Commander of the ship Delicia which I came in and being one that I can rely on have taken him into the Council. Mr Hooper is his chief mate and by the former reasons chose him, and by my Commission made him Naval Officer, but how long these two last gentm. will continue here, I know not. The satisfaction that I proposed at home to myself after my arrival here has been very much taken away by the mortality of many of my soldiers, passengers, and seamen. There had been a sickness upon the Island about a fortnight before we came in imputed to a number of raw hides put on shoar near the towne, wch. putrified the air, but as if only fresh European blood could only draw the infection, the inhabitants and people quickly became free and our poor attendants on every hand seized so violently that I have had above 100 sick at one time and not a healthfull officer, till now we begin to recover. The air being purged I trust in God shall not see such another season; this last being such an extraordinary fatality unknown before to persons who have lived here these forty years past. But they all agree yt. people when they become sickley in most of the other American Plantations find releif when they come here. The Island of Providence is at present overgrown with wood but affords an agreeable view of what industry may make, and I hope for the honour, and good fortune, to see the Bahamas equall if not exceed the characters given you in my several Memorials etc. Here we found the ruins of the former fort which we are employ'd in rebuilding, one bastion fronting the sea last week fell down having only a crazy crack'd wall in its foundation. The wages of hired workmen are extravagantly dear, and I have buried most of those I brought with me. If H.M. would please to contribute towards the fortifications necessary to be erected in two more places in the harbour of Nassau when I have workmen here, the charge would be much less then at any other place in the West Indies, and I presume not of less consequence, another Independant Company with one years provision more would be sufficient to garrison it, and I dare be confident that in little time after our Assembly shall be called, I could find an expedient to raise a fund for supporting the garrison on their bare pay. Here is the best stone, lime and timber, everywhere on this Island, but at present the excessive laziness of the people and sickly season has been the only cause, I have not put the place by this time in a better posture of defence. I shall continue doing all I can for fear of a sudden rupture wth. either France or Spain, it lying so advantageous to annoy their trade that they would dread the consequence of this place more then any other English settlement in America. In dependance that I shall have numbers of new inhabitants by that time I can have H.M. Orders, I beg in the next place to recommend the settlement of an Assembly for these Islands wch. with submission may consist of 15 persons for Providence two for Elutheria two for Harbour Island one for Abacoa the number may be encreased for each Island as they shall be settled, for I cannot forme a Council and Assembly out of those that are now here except I take such as are not to be rely'd on, and most of them are poor and so addicted to idleness that they would chuse rathar almost to starve then work. We have scarce half of those who have been pirates left, for they soon became weary of living under restraint and are either gone to several parts of North America, or engaged themselves on services at sea, wch. I was willing to promote, for they are not the people I ought to think will make any land improvements, and I wish they may be faithfull at sea. I shall depend on those I have invited from several Collonys accustomed to plantations, particularly the whole inhabitants of Anguilla, who readily accepted my offer when I called there in my way hither. Anguilla is a defenceless barren Island amongst the Caribes that has as they themselves informe me about 1800 whites and blacks on it. The people are very poor but industrious. I have sent a vessel to give notice of my being in security here, on which I expect many of their familys and slaves will come in their own vessels. I am more covetous of those people because I observed and was told that they all live in perfect friendship with each other, and are of modest behaviour, whose conversations will very much reform the contrary manners of the men and women now with us, which cannot be suddenly changed. Many others have sent me word from Bermudas that the inhabitants are too numerous, and at Carolina where I hear they dread a worse Indian warr then the last, and dont beleive themselves secure under the Proprietors. Numbers of those people I depend will be here from the knowledge they have of the soil being so very productive, that with little labour almost every root, plant or grain will in small time ripen to perfection. We may soon expect to rake salt enough, from the several ponds amongst the windward Bahama Islands, to supply Newfoundland and all North America, and were it worth while vast quantitys for Europe, so that we hope to have the same vessels as now do use Salturtuga come here for salt, as being much nearer all North America. Here might be very good whale fisherys promoted. We expect experienc'd men from Bermudas to begin on it this year. Ambergrease is found in large quantitys amongst these Islands etc. I have erected a small fort of eight guns at the eastermost entrance into the harbour where we keep watch, and have formed the inhabitants and all the rest of the men on this Island into three companys of Militia, under their own officers, who by turns keep a guard in the town every night. I don't fear but they'l all stand by me in case of any attempt except pirates, but should their old friends have strength enough to designe to attack me, I much doubt whether I should find one half to joyn me. This made me keep not only the guardship according to my proposals to protect the place, but till now two ships more belonging to the gentm. that has so generously adventured to make this settlement. I haveing been very ill almost ever since my arrival here and my Independt. Compa. and those that came wth. me reduced so low, that sometimes, I had scarce men to mount the necessary guards this has been extreamly fateaguing to us here and very expensive to the above Gentlemen adventurers beyond wt. could be imagined at home. I have commissioned Edwd. Holmes Esq. one of the Council, to be Deputy Governour of Elutheria where there is about 50 familys and 70 men formed into a Militia Company and Richard Thompson Esq. another of the Council Deputy Governour of Harbour Island where are about 60 familys, and 80 men wch. are also in another Company of Militia they have fortified themselves and secured the harbour wch. is very narrow at the enterance but a ship of 18 foot water may go in and ride very securely, a draught of this harbour and all ye Bahama Islands are indifferently well done by one Capt. Cockram and I have sent it home by the Samuel that brings this, there are severall good men there that may be relyed on. I have supplyed them wth. powder and shot, for they have two small forts, one of eight six-pounders and the other of four nine-pounders that commands the entrance and harbour. I prevailed wth. Comadore Chamberlain to stay till the 16th Aug. and wth. some difficulty procured his order to Capt. Whitney to stay three weeks longer in which time I was in hopes my men and the fortification would be in a better state for I wanted to depend on my own strenght without the men of war if possible, since they often told me they had no orders, and was very much against staying wth. me when the three weeks was expired I was yet in a worse posture of defence and sick myself yet I could not prevaile with Capt. Whitney to stay longer then the 14th Sept. tho' we depended every minute to hear of Vaine wch. Capt. Whitney and I knew was expected at Abacco every minute, for on 1st Sepr. three men that came in a boat from Vaine who was then on the coast of Cuba confess'd they promised to meet him again about this time there; And the very day after Capt. Whitney sailed, I had an express sent me that three vessels supposed to be Vaine and his prizes were at Green Turtle Key near Abacoa and since I had no strenght to do better, I got a sloop fitted under the command of Capt. Hornygold to send and view them and bring me an accot. what they were, in the mean time I keep a very strick't watch for fear of any surprize, and not hearing from Capt. Hornigold I was afraid he was either taken by Vaine or begun his old practice of pirating again, wch. was the general opinion here in his absence, but to my great satisfaction he return'd in about three weeks having lain most of that time concealed and viewing of Vaine the Pirate in order to surprize him or some of his men that they expected would be near them in their boats, but tho they failed in this Capt. Hornygold brought wth. him a sloop of this place, that got leave from me to go out a turtling but had been trading wth. Vaine who had then wth. him two ships and a brigantine, his sloop that he escaped hence in being run away with by another set of new pirates, the two ships he took coming out of Carolina one of 400 and the other of 200 tons loaded wth. rice, pitch and tarr and skins bound for London the Neptune Capt. King being the largest he sunk and the Emperour Capt. Arnold Gowers he left without doing her any damage except taking away their provisions. I have secured the mercht. that traded wth. Vaine and having not yet a power to make an example of them here he remains in irons to be sent home to England by the next ship. For want of Capt. Whitney's staying to assist me we have once more missed taking this Pirate. I beg your Lordships (if H.M. signifies his pleasure of stationing any ships of war here) that they may be under the direction of the Governour and Council whilst here or at least one of them, otherwise we expect little benifit by their assistance if the Shark sloop that came wth. us was appointed or any other such small cruzier we then could joyne a sloop or two and men from the guarrison with the best of the people here and soon be out after any pirate for we may expect to be alarmed by them whilst there are any in America. This Vaine had the impudence to send me word that he design's to burn my guardship and visit me very soon to return the affront, I gave him on my arrival in sending two sloops after him instead of answering the letter he sent me. He expects soon to joyne Majr. Bonnet or some other pirate, and then I am to be attack'd by them. But being now got to the 20th of Octr., the heat abates very much and our people all begin to be pretty well and our fort will be soon in a tollerable posture of defence, and the guardship is well provided wch. makes me now not concern'd at his threats. Capt. Hornygold having proved honest, and disobliged his old friends by seazing this vessel it devides the people here and makes me stronger then I expected. The 6th of Sepr. I wrot Governour Hunter at New York of the mallancholly state of our settlement and at that time beg'd that he would send me 40 of his guarrison and an officer for then I was afraid that the distemper would run further then it has, and make me too weak to hold this place. On the 15th Sepr. fearing my letter to Governour Hunter should miscarry I wrot the same to Sr. Nichs. Lawes Governour of Jamaica and beg'd 20 or 30 men from him. But on the 6th of Oct. our people being somewt. recovered and ye pirates many of them gone hence, I acquainted the Governour of New York yt. if his men were not on their way hither, I desired the lent but of 25 men till he had more inhabitants and yt. I would pay the transportation. I again wrote the Governour of Jamaica yt. I did hope I could do without any of his soldiers, and desired he'd keep them if not come away thence, because my people began to be more healthfull. I can now muster in armes of our own people belonging to the Independant Company, 112; of passengers and new inhabitants that I can rely on, 30. And at our last muster of ye merooners and the inhabitants we have at home to appear in armes, 152. There are about 150 more that has been pirates who has gone hence since my arrival and keeps near this place moving out and home mostly amongst these Islands and coast of Cuba if they all return I will endeavour to keep them employed, I expect not less then 150 of these sort of people at home continually, till new inhabitants of better principalls come to make us stronger. Nov. 4th. Whilst I was concluding this letter there came in some of those men before mentioned, but with ye unwelcome news of all our vessels designing to trade on Cuba being seized on and run away with by the very sailors that came in on the Act of Grace, and entered here to navigate them, they still retaining the itching desire to return to their former vile course of life, made use of the first oppertunity and finding themselves stronger then the honest side on a signal given made the other prisoners. But before they had prepar'd their vessels for piracy they turn'd four of their men which I recommend'd on shoar by themselves on a desart island ye Spaniards soon after attack't them in a small haven amongst these islands and whilst they were preparing their vessels took advantage of their cowardice and surprized them. The English renegadoes flying out of their sloops on shoar, and would not accept of the offer the prisoners made to assist them against the Spaniards whom they might have taken being superior in number and strength. This attempt of the Spaniards tho ill intended had two good consequences to us the one in breaking the measures concerted by these new villains who intended to joyne Vaine and attempt this place, and the other in preventing the Spaniards' design on Elutheria or Harbour Island as they declared they intended to surprize one of these places in the night. The French also cast their eyes on these Islands and I beleive whenever they have an oppertunity they'l not scruple it for want of title for. A sloop belonging to these Islands conveyed a letter from me to ye French General of Hispaniola about a brigantine the pirates has left here ye person that deliver'd the letter to the General informes me he stampt wth. his foot and said in a passion that the French king his Master had right to these Islands and that they would settle here very soon such are the sentiments of these two Nations and as we find they think, that they are worth contending for it is ye greater reason for us to value ye possession for if we loose these Islands, we shall better judge of the consequence had we kept them by finding how much they are capable of annoying ye neighbourhood. I have yet had no tryal of the men I now most depend on but I hope I have about 200 including my Independant Company, that may be relyed on against all attacks, and because here are several amongst them that seems ambitious to convince me, of their integrity to serve this Settlemt. and as I do not know how to hold this place without their assistance, I beg your Lordships would interceed wth. H.M. to procure them the same favours as Governour Bennet procur'd for those that surrendred to him at Bermudas wch. will very much endear the reform'd here, and be their security when they have occation to visit any other Settlement, some of them were amongst others that comitted acts of piracy since the 5th of Janry. last but seem to be reform'd, this has been one great reason why I gave them all their certificates in ye manner I did (copy inclosed) neither have I exerted my power as Vice Admiral to seize many things that I might have laid my hands on because I would not quarrel at the time of my mens great sickness when they might have sent us all back again. My not then taking an advantage of them has stopt several here that would have been out a pirating afresh this I hope will redound to the publick service wch. I have and shall regard before my own interest. What wth. the pirates robbing us and ye inclination of many of our people to joyn them, and the Spaniards threatning to attempt these Islands we are continually obliged to keep on our guard and our trading vessels in our harbour above 100 men that accepted H.M. Act of Grace in this place are now out pirating again and except effectual measures are taken the whole trade of America must be soon ruin'd etc. Signed, Woodes Rogers. Endorsed, Recd., Read 17th Dec., 1718. 25 pp. Enclosed,
737. i. (a) List of soldiers, sailors and passengers deceased since we arrived at Providence. 86 names.
(b) List of men entered, discharged and deserted since we left England. 19 names. Endorsed, Recd. 16th, Read 17th Dec., 1718.
737. ii. Copy of proceedings of Governour and Council of the Bahama Islands, Nassau, Providence, 1st Aug.—28th Sept., 1718. Endorsed as preceding. 8 pp.
737. iii. Deposition of Thomas Bowlin, and four others, Nassau on Providence, 8th Sept., 1718. Deponent sailed about three months ago from Harbour Island, on board the sloop Dolphin, to trade with the Spaniards for live stock at Porto Prince, Cuba. Here the sloop was seized by one of the Commanders of the Guarda d'la Coast's, who compelled deponent to sail with him as pilot for Andros Island in order to look out for English vessels cutting wood, and thence to Providence, where he lay viewing the island, in order to take some boat for intelligence etc. On returning to Porto Prince, deponent, with four of the Company, was allowed to depart in a periauger, leaving one of the company as hostage for the fulfilment of the condition that they should pay for the same and return with letters from the Governor here to prove themselves to be honest men, the Alcalda being of opinion that they were pirates and that there was no Governor here etc. Signed, Thomas Bowling, Phillip Cockrem, William Rutherford, Nathaniell Baran, Josep Hern, alias Middlebourrow. Endorsed as preceding. 2¾ pp.
737. iv. Deposition of William Dewick, of Kingston in Jamaica, mariner, and three others. 15th Sept., 1718. On 19th July last deponent was on board the sloop Edward and William at anchor in a lagoon on the coast of Florida, 10 leagues to the southerd of the northermost Spanish wrecks, in company with 4 other sloops. Four Spanish vessels showing themselves off the mouth of the harbour, the English fired several shot to bring them to, not knowing who they were. The Spaniards landed about 130 of their people on the north side of the lagoon, who marched within gunshot of their vessels, and engaged them from the shore, and at the same time one of the Spanish vessels plying too and from play'd upon them with great shot from the mouth of the harbour. One Englishman was killed and six wounded, and one Spaniard was found dead on the shoar after the rest were gone aboard, which they did that evening, and stood away to sea. On 19th Aug. two Spanish brigantines came against the mouth of the harbour, one row galley, six sloops (two of which were English vessels, taken by the Spaniards in their passage from the Havanna thither, one of them belonging to New York was commanded by one Boniett, and the other belonging to the Asciento Factor at the Havanna commanded by Capt. Marshall of Jamaica) etc. In reply to a flag of truce, they proposed that if the English would permit them without opposition to come into the harbour, they would not interrupt them in working upon the wrecks, but that each company should work without doeing any injury to the other. This was agreed to, and the Spaniards treacherously surprising the English made them all prisoners and took what moneys and plate they had got from the wrecks. Deponent with 20 others was put on board the Edward and Sarah schooner in order to be sent to the Havanna under the conduct of five Spaniards in company with a Spanish sloop, from whom they were parted by bad weather, whereupon deponents secured the Spaniards and their armes, and made way with 'em for this place. Signed, Wm. Dewick and three others. 1¾ pp.
737. v. Certificate by Governor Woodes Rogers as to the taking of preceding deposition. Deponents added that the report made by the Spaniards of a black flagg being hoisted against them when they first assalted the English at anchor in the lagoon is utterly false etc. 15th Sepr., 1718. Signed, Woodes Rogers. Endorsed, Recd. 16th, Read 17th Dec., 1718. 1 p.
737. vi. Estimate of stores of war etc. needed for fortifying Providence. Nassau, Oct. 31st, 1718. Endorsed as preceding. 1½ pp.
737. vii. Deposition of Richard Tayler, of Philadelphia, Master of the sloop Elizabeth and Mary, of Pennsilvania, and three others. Nassau, 4th Aug., 1718. Arriving at Exuma, 5th July, to load salt, he and his sloop were taken by three Spanish periaugas from Baracoa etc. They sent away his sloop for Baracoa and from thence till the 24th, deponent was confined as prisoner with his mate and two others, cruising about between Stocking Island, and Exuma, att wch. time they stretch'd over for Catt Island, and on the 26th landed there in a creek on the S.W. part of the Island, and took 6 women and several children, but not one of the men belonging to the said Island, they all flying to the bushes for shelter. They carried of thence all the goods they could find belonging to the inhabitants, even to the meanest of their houshold utensils. At the same place they met and took 8 men who had lately belong'd to a pirate sloop built at Bermudas, commanded by one Cha. Yate etc. Richard Holland, an Irishman in command of one of them, told deponent that a new Governor was lately arrived at the Havana from Spain, with orders to destroy all the English settlements on the Bahama Islands: and that they had provided for that purpose, one ship of 50 guns and 700 men, another of 26 guns and 300 men, and three row gallys full of men, wth. instructions in case of surrender, to transport the people and their effects to Carolina, Virginia, or some other of the Northern Governments, but in case of resistance to send them to the Havana, for Old Spain. Deponent desired that he might go with his sloop to defend her upon her trial, but this was refused, and Holland said the Alcacaid of Baracoa or Trinidade would for 500 peices of eight condemn any vessel he carried in, and shewed him a large commission from the Alcaid of Baracoa for what he did etc. Signed, Richd. Taylor and three others. 2 pp.
737. viii. Governor Woodes Roger's certificate as to the taking of preceding deposition, 4th Aug. Signed, Woodes Rogers. Endorsed, Recd. 16th, Read 17th Dec., 1718. ¾ p. [C.O. 23, 1. Nos. 10, 10 i.–viii.]