America and West Indies: February 1720, 1-8

Pages 323-352

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 31, 1719-1720. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1933.

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February 1720, 1-8

Jan. 30th/Feb. 10.
534. Mr. Pulteney to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Acknowledges letter of Jan. 21st. The papers enclosed are only what I had before, and do not answer the queries I sent to Mr. Popple etc. (v. 15th and 26th Jan.) Encloses following. Refers to other matters concerning trade etc. Signed, D. Pulteney. Endorsed, Recd. 6th, Read 9th Feb. 1719/20. 2¾ pp. Enclosed,
534. i. Order of the Conseil de Marine to the Lt. General and Intendant of the Windward Islands, 6th Feb. (N.S.), 1720. The Commissaries of His Britannic Majesty have requested that the Island of Sta. Lucia or Sta. Alousie should be put back into the same condition it was in before the grant made of it to the Marechal d'Etrées, the King has agreed thereto until he shall have informed his Britannic Majesty of the incontestable claims he has to that Island which belongs to France, you will therefore give the necessary orders to the officers, soldiers and others settled there since this grant to leave the Island as soon as you shall have acquainted them with H.M. commands, only leaving there the families settled there before this grant etc. Signed, L. A. de Bourbon. Copy. Signed. Du Bois. French. 1½ pp. [C.O. 28, 15. Nos. 70, 70. i.; and 253, 1. Nos. 23, 23. i.]
Feb. 1.
535. Lt. Governor Spotswood to the Council of Trade and Plantations. There can be no doubt, but that the French settlement at Missisippi may (without timely precautions) greatly affect both the trade and safety of these H.M. Plantations. Tobacco, rice etc. will be exported thence and thus that nation becomes our rivals in foreign markets etc. By the communication which the French may maintain between Canada and Missisippi, by the conveniency of the Lakes, they will in a manner surround all the British Plantations: They will have it in their power by these lakes and the many rivers runing into them and into the Missisippi, to engross all the trade of the Indian Nations which are now supplyed from hence: They may by possessing themselves of the passes of the Great Mountains which ly between us and the Lakes either by themselves or their Indians fall upon and overrun which of these Provinces they think fitt: And seing by their late seizure of Pensicola from the Spaniards, their design seems to be, to extend their dominions eastward, towards South Carolina, it is certainly the British interest to put a stop to their advancing further that way; and this in my opinion will be best effected by possessing ourselves of some places on the coast of Florida, and forming a settlement as near as may be to cramp theirs etc. St. Augustine is a small fort on the N.E. part of the coast of Florida with a village adjoining inhabited by about 2 or 300 Spaniards, and seems to be rather kept to preserve the Spanish title to the territory of Florida than for any profite that Crown receives thereby: The harbour admitts vessells of small burthen etc. The garrison usually kept is inconsiderable. But as the Bahama Islands on one side, and the Florida coast on the other, forme that streight which is called the Gulph of Florida (through which not only the Spaniards in their return from the West Indies, but the French from their new settlement must necessarily pass) this place may be of vast consequence to Great Britain whenever a war shall happen with either of these Crowns etc. In case of a rupture with France, men of war placed on that station might destroy the whole trade of the Missisippi Colony. Proposes that, besides the taking of St. Augustine, the small fort or rather battery of St. Mark may be attempted. It is a place of small strength in the Bay of Appallachea, on the western side of Florida. From hence it is that I would propose to forme a settlement to check that of Missisippi and to extend westward upon it, whereby we might share with them at least in their Indian trade, and keep a ballance of those Indian Nations in our interests, and in case of a war we may be able to annoy them from thence. Besides these two settlements it may not be improbable but that a good harbour may be found among the Islands at the Cape of Florida, which may be a proper station for men of war or privateers to intercept the Spanish or French trade from the Bay of Mexico" etc. This would also prove a security to our trade from Jamaica, which for want of places of retreat on that coast is often exposed to the danger of the enemy's privateers and storms etc. Encloses draughts of all these places, copied from the original of one Mr. Hughes an English gentleman, who had a particular humour of rambling among the Indians, and was killed by some French traders last war etc. The French have of late begun a traffique with the Coosatee Indians, and 'tis to be feared will soon get a footing among the Cherikees, South Carolina having already abandoned that trade, and the Virginia traders like to do the same, because of the low price of skins and furrs in England and the high duty thereon etc. As these are the nearest to and most considerable body of Indians on our S. frontiers and consist of upwards of 4000 fighting men, so they have been generally very friendly and affectionate to the English, and are the only Indians we ought to depend on to ballance the Northern Indians, if they should attempt to be troublesome to these Plantations. Desires, in case H.M. approve the project of reducing these places, to return home on leave, in order to explain the method he proposes etc. Refers to enclosed letter to Col. Schuyler. His countenancing the haughty demand of the Indians to treat nowhere with any of H.M. Governors except at Albany, is too low a condescension to the humors of those savages etc. All grants of land are constantly recorded in the Secretary's Office etc. Abstract. Set out, Spotswood Papers, II. 328. Signed, A. Spotswood. Endorsed, Recd. 11th April. Read 6th July, 1720. 7 pp. Enclosed,
535. i. Lt. Governor Spotswood to Col. Schuyler, President of the Council of New York. Williamsburgh, Jan. 25, 1720. On the 2nd I received an account of a conference held at Albany, 7th and 9th Nov., between your Commissioners for Indian Affairs and some Sachims of the Five Nations; and as the same came handed to me from Philadelphia, without any letter of your Government to explain it, I should scarce have taken it to have been transmitted to me from the President and Council of New York, had not Governor Keith communicated to me your letter to him, wherein you mention, that it is by advice of the Council that those copys are sent, as well to the Governors of Virginia, Maryland and South Carolina as to him, and wherein you are pleased to express yourself in these words vizt., and their immediate answer is expected with yours. The account too contained in the sd. paper might have well caused me to doubt whether it was genuine, because in Aug. last you promised to take notice of the memorial given in at New York by Col. Robinson in behalf of this Government, and gave me to expect that you would at the next meeting of the Indians .Commissioners press them to discover who that chief man of Virginia was that had (as your Indians declared in the Conference at Albany on 19th June last) invited them to come to wage war upon our frontiers, and had promised to assist them in ye undertaking with ammunition etc. Not perceiving one word opened by your Commissioners to the Indians on that head, I could hardly imagine the sd. paper contained a just account of your negotiations etc. In your letter to Mr. Keith you observe that your Indians think themselves slighted by the Governments to the Southward, and sending a copy of their demands, say that our immediate answer is expected. By which I can infer nothing less than a justifying your savages, and threatning no longer to interpose your endeavours to restrain them from infesting these Southern Governmts. or falling upon our Indian allies, unless we will submit to their terms etc. I cannot but wonder to see fellow-subjects indulging even to a suspicion of encouragement, those savages in their haughty demands of having all the King's Governors of this Continent dance many hundreds of miles to Albany to treat there upon every caprice of theirs; And I with admiration observe that your Commissioners suffered the Sachims to go away with the notion of their being ill treated by these Southern Governments etc. I shall not trouble you with a long enumeration of their continual infractions of solemn treatys which they had made from time to time with this Governmt., having laid a full state thereof before your Governor when I was at New York etc. But during my own administration, in 1712 and 1713 they were actually in these parts assisting the Tuscarouroes who had massacred in cold blood some hundreds of the English and were then warring against us, and they have at this very day the chief murderers, with the greatest part of that Nation, seated under their protection near Susquehanna River whether they removed them when they found they could no longer support 'em against the force which the English brought upon them in these parts. During the Tuscorouro war about 200 of your Indians sett upon our Virginia Indian traders as they were going to the Southern Indians with a caravan at least 80 horses loaded, and after having killed one of our people, and shot most of their horses they made booty of all ye goods. Soon after they returned in several parties carrying themselves very rudely to our outward inhabitants, and in July last approacht Christanna, and ravaged our Indians' cornfields, close to the fort there, upon which our Indians sallied out and a skirmish ensued wherein were two of ours, and four of yours killed. In Sept. following they came in the night and lay in ambush before the gate of the fort, and at the opening thereof they shot the first person that came out and kept firing upon the fort untill the English got to the great guns, and so scared them away. At length I found means to perswade one of their war captains (who called himself Connaughtoorah) to come in with ten more to a Council at Williamsburgh, 9th Dec. last, where I with abundance of civil treatment endeavoured to engage him to carry a belt of peace to their five Nations in behalf of our Christanna Indians, but he haughtily refused, and answered that they would not be at peace with them upon any terms: However I prevailed upon him to carry it with this proposal, That the Five Nations should observe their antient treaty with this Government so far as not to come among the English Plantations, and particularly that none of their warriors should approach within 20 miles of our fort at Christanna, etc. Argues as to the behaviour of the Indians and their replies at the Conference at Albany etc. Same endorsement. Copy. 7¾ pp.
535. ii. Account of H.M. Revenue of 2s. per hhd., Virginia, 25th April—25th Oct., 1719. Totals, Receipts 3783l. 19s. 9½d., Expenditure, 1904l. 10s. 8½d. Signed, J. Roscow, Rr. Genll., John Grymes, Depty. Audr., A. Spotswood. Same endorsement. 2 pp.
535. iii. Account of H.M. Quit Rents, 25th April 1718–1719. Totals, Receipts (including balance of £5529l. 0s. 8d. brought forward) 8367l. 14s. 10d. Expenditure, 1576l. 7s. 2½d. Signed and endorsed as preceding. 4 pp. [C.O. 5, 1318. Nos. 77, 77. i–iii.)
Feb. 1. 536. Dudley Woodbridge to Mr. Popple. I never heard that any English or French were settled on Sta. Lucia at the time of the Treaty of Reswick, or during the last warr, etc. Had there been any settlement within those times, it would scarcely have escaped me. The first advancement towards the same that I remember to have heard of, on the part of the French, was in Feb. 1714/15, and Capt. St. Lo, H.M.S. Valeur meeting with some French cutting wood at Sta. Lucia, interrupted their proceedure. Quotes letter of Marquis Du Quesne to Mr. Sharpe and his answer, to which the Marquis never made any reply etc. Signed, Dudley Woodbridge. Endorsed, Recd. 1st. Read 3rd Feb., 1719/20. 3½ pp. [C.O. 28, 15. No. 65; and 29, 14. pp. 41, 42.]
Feb. 2.
537. Mr. Popple to Mr. Attorney and Sollicitor Generall. Asks for opinion, whether Spanish ships coming from Spanish ports in America, and loaden with the products of those countrys, are prohibited by the Acts of Trade, and particularly those of the 12th and 15th of K. Charles II, and that of 7th and 8th K. William, to unloade and sell their cargoes in any of the British Plantations in America, and to load again there. [C.O. 29, 14. p. 40.]
Feb. 2.
538. Mr. Secretary Craggs to Governor Hunter. You are forthwith to appoint Dr. Cadwallador Colden H.M. Surveyor General for New York in the room of Augustine Graham decd. Signed, J. Craggs. [C.O. 324, 33. p. 263.]
Feb. 2.
539. Same to the Governors and Proprietors of the Plantations. By the enclosed paper, which hath been published by authority, you will have the good news of the King of Spain's accession to the Quadruple Alliance, which I would not omit sending to you in this manner, though you may probably have heard of this happy event, before my letter can reach you. Signed, J. Craggs. [C.O. 324, 33. pp. 263, 264.]
Feb. 2.
540. Governor Sir N. Lawes to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The Assembly met at the time appointed, (12th Jan. v. Dec. 6), and have gone through a good deal of of publick business with vigour and dispatch, but the sudden departure of H.M.S. Diamond renders it impossible for me to get ready the Minutes of Council and Assembly etc., with such bills as have been pass'd haveing given my consent to them but three days ago, etc. I shall therefore only by this opportunity give a brief acct. of the heads thereof and deferr my reasons at length for passing such laws till they can be transmitted etc. The most materiall business being finished, and this being the time of year of makeing sugar, both the Council and Assembly were desirous of a recess but there being severall good bills for the advantage of the Island under consideration which could not yet be compleated, I thought an adjournment more adviseable than a Prorogation, I did therefore with the advice of the Council on the 29th past, adjourn the Assembly till June 1st, haveing given my consent to the following laws vizt. (i.) An Act to impose duties on severall commodities to defray the extraordinary charges of the Government and applying the same to severall uses. In this bill there are the following duties laid vizt. on every negro imported, 5s., on every pipe of madera and canary wines imported 20s., on every tun of Portugall wines 30s. for every gallon of brandy 6d., for every gallon of arrack or spiritts 5s., for every tun of Spanish, Rhenish or Italian wines 40s., for every tun of mum or metheaglin 20s., for every tun of cask or bottled beer ale or cyder 25s., and on wines of the growth of the Western Islands commonly called the Azores 6l. pr. tun, 4l. whereof is to be to the use of the Revenue and the other 2l. to the uses and purposes in the said Act mentioned, and on cocoa imported by vessells belonging to this Island 5s. pr. hundred, and on cocoa imported by vessells not belonging to this Island 10s.; for all muscovado and Puneal imported 5s. pr. hundred; and for tobacco imported 6d. per lb. In this bill they have also laid a tax of 1500l. on the Jews, and out of the money ariseing by virtue of this law they have provided for H.M. officers and soldiers of the two Independant Companies in the usuall manner and they have likewise given their officers the following rewards vizt., to their Chaplin 80l., his Clerk 20l., the Clerk of the Assembly 400l., their Messenger 240l. for their services in the last and present Assembly, and lastly they have appointed H.M. Receiver Generall to collect receive and pay the said severall sums. (ii) An Act to oblige the severall inhabitants of this Island to provide themselves with a sufficient number of white people etc. In this bill all persons without exception are oblidged to keep a white man or woman for every thirty slaves young and old they possess, and also for every 150 horses, mares, mules, asses or neat cattle, and so in proportion for a greater or less number, and in case they are deficient in the number of white men aforesaid, they are oblidged to pay to H.M. 7s. 6d. pr. week and for the incouragement of keeping supernumerary white servants on plantations it is therein enacted that the master of such supernumerary white servants shall receive out of the mony ariseing by virtue of the said Act for his incouragement 7s. 6d. pr. week for every supernumerary white servant in proportion to the aforesaid number of slaves and cattle, and all wherries and canoes that have not one white man plying in them shall pay 7s. 6d. pr. week, and all vessells tideing for freight in and about this Island shall not have above ¼th part of the crew slaves under the penalty of 20l. and all masters or mistresses of familys not actually resideing on the Island are only to be allowed 24 negroes young and old to a deficiency. The mony ariseing by virtue of this Act is ordered to be paid into the hands of H.M. Receiver Generall and shall only be applyed and appropriated to such uses and purposes as the present or any future Assembly shall direct. (iii) An Act to revive such parts of former acts as relate to any mony's still due to the publick. This Act recites that whereas in the execution of severall former Acts many of the inhabitants were assesd within the time limited by the said Acts and before the expiration of either of them or H.M. disallowance of any or either of the said Acts was duely signified to the Governor some part of the said taxes so asses'd remains still unpaid, they have therefore enacted that all the mony still remaining due by virtue of the severall acts therein mentioned shall be paid into the hands of H.M. Receiver Generall to be disposed of to such uses as this present or any future Assembly shall appropriate the same. (iv) An Act for appropriateing severall sums of mony to severall uses. In this bill they have appropriated out of the mony ariseing by virtue of the before mentioned Acts 7000l. unto the Treasury for the payment of the debts effecting the Revenue and to supply the contingent charges of the Government, 7000l. for and towards the payment of parties to suppress rebellious and runaway negroes, £1400l. to Mr. Cardiff for the payment of his sloop which was taken by the pyrates when he lent her on the Country service to regain the Kingstone, 81l. 7s. 6d. to provide convenient houses lodging and bedding for the Independant Company in this Town, 120l. to John Guthrie for 3 years rent and the repairs of a house taken up as barricks, 20l. per annum to the daughter of George Fletcher who was killed in pursuit of the rebellious and runaway negroes, and 10l. a year to each of the children of Joseph Hyden, who lost his life in the same service, until 16 years of age; to Messrs. Archdeckne and Pestell 100l. for an Indian man killed by the rebellious negroes, and they have likewise been very bountifull to the poor men who were wounded and maimed on board the sloop Defiance in an engagement with a Spanish pyrate and to the widdows and orphans of those who were killed in the said engagement. And whereas the Factors of the South Sea Company have commenced a suit in Chancery against John Chaplin Esq., late Commissioner of the Additional Duty Act pass'd in Mr. Heywood's Governmt. for the recovery of mony by them paid on the exportation of negroes by virtue of the said law, they have ordered him to retain in his hands the ballance of his accts., being 1516l. 17s. 3d., to defray such charges as he shall or may be at in defence of all suites allready commenced against him and to indemnifye him from all such sums as shall or may be recovered on that account, and at the determination of the said law suit if it shall appear the said Chaplin has been any ways undisbursed that the same shall be made good to him etc. In this they have likewise ascertain'd the fees of H.M. Attorney Generall and lastly they have appointed the Receiver Generall for the time being to receive and pay the severall sums in this Act mentioned. (v) An Act to prevent enticeing or inveighing of slaves from the possessors and for preventing the transportation of slaves by mortgages and tennants for life and years and for regulateing abuses committed by slaves. The title of this Act expressing the whole purport thereof, there was little objection made to it, and I beleive it will prove a beneficiall law to the Island, those are all I have hitherto pass'd. I come now to give your Lordships an account of some bills that have been sent up by the Assembly to the Council, which the Council haveing amended, the Assembly adheard to their bills, and the Council to their amendments, by which the bills were lost vizt. (1) An Act to repeal the condemnation of the sloop Nuestra Sennora de Belin otherwise called the sloop Kensington. (ii) An Act for the releif of such persons as have suffer'd by pyracies at sea or on the shore by any of H.M. subjects of this Island. To these two bills the Council made some amendments which the House did not agree to, but that your Lordships may be more fully apprised, and be able to determine the points in question, I send you copy's of the said bills with the Council's amendments annexed, and must desire the favour of your Lordships opinion in case bills of the same nature should arise in any ensueing Sessions, I may have your Lordships concurrence for my guiddance in passing or rejecting them. (iii) An Act for appointing an Agent in Great Brittain to solicit the passing of laws etc. This bill the Council rejected without sending their reasons in writeing to the Assembly for so doeing, or without desireing a Conference on the subject matter of the said bill, a coppy whereof I herewith send your Lordships and should be glad if your Lordships would honour me with your opinions thereon beleiveing either bodies wou'd have great regard to what you shou'd please to signifye on that head. Refers to 6th Dec. 17, 1719, relating to a perpetual revenue bill. Continues: As the Assembly have appointed Comitties dureing this recess to prepare the business of the Country against their next meeting, which remain yet unfinished, so I hope to receive before that time your Lordship's answer etc. Encloses Minutes of Council to 26th Aug. and Naval Officer's quarterly lists etc. as desired 9th July. Haveing lately recd. some information concerning the departure of some Spanish men of warr from the Havanna, I thought proper to have the person who brought the information, examined before me in Council. Deposition enclosed. Repeats request for guns for Port Royal. When H.M. shall think fit to make peace with Spain, 'twould be much for the advantage of the inhabitants of this Colony, if we were allowed a free liberty of fishing for turtle within sight of the shore of the Spanish territories in this part of the West Indies. Repeats proposal of Dec. 6 as to right of cutting logwood in the Bay of Campechy. Signed, Nicholas Lawes. Endorsed, Recd. 18th May. Read 2nd Nov., 1720. 11 pp. Enclosed,
540. i. Copy of amendment made by the Council of Jamaica to a bill for the relief of such persons as have suffered by piracies etc. 27th Jan. 1720. Same endorsement. ¾. p.
540. ii. Copy of bill referred to in preceding. Same endorsement. 2 pp.
540. iii. Copy of a bill for appointing an Agent etc. 20th Nov., 1719. Same endorsement. 2 pp.
540. iv. Copy of bill to repeal the condemnation of the Nuestra Senora Belin etc. 19th Jan. 1720. 1 p.
540. v. Amendment by the Council to preceding. Endorsed as letter. ¾ p.
540. vi. Deposition of Samuel Lobdell, Master of the Phoenix, 29th Jan. 1720. About 20th June last he was taken by three Spanish privateers off Campeche, carried to La Vera Cruz and forced into the King of Spain's service by 4 men of war designed to take Mouville, but learning of the taking of Pensicola by the French, they landed 600 men at St. Joseph's. The Admiral sent to La Vera Cruz for more ships and forces, and on 8th Dec. received advice that the ships would be ready in 9 days time loaden with money and designed to land it at the Havanna till the expedition to Pensecola was over and then to sail for Old Spain in March etc. The force of the ships were four 50 gun ships, two 64 guns, three of 40, all designed for Pensicola, but most of their men sick and weak. Also a ship of 32 guns, another of 20 and another of 18 loaden with stones bound to Pensicola designing to build a castle there, and a pacquet of 26 guns designed to sail for Old Spain. Deponent was informed by an Irish doctor that there was a great deal of money designed for Spain to carry on the warr which was to be transported thither next March by six men of war. Whilst deponent was prisoner at St. Juan de Luthere, about 2000 boatloads of money came over from the shoar, etc. Signed, Samuel Lobdell. Same endorsement. 1 p.
540. vii. Minutes of Council of War at Jamaica, 27th and 29th June, and 24th July 1719, putting Martial Law in force till 10th Aug., and ordering measures of defence. Same endorsement. 10 pp. [C.O. 137, 13. Nos. 40, 41. i.–vii.]
Feb. 3. 541. Petition of the Council and Assembly of the Settlements in South Carolina to the King. Containing a representation of the great grievances and intolerable hardships the said inhabitants have suffered under the late Government of the Lords Proprietors of. that Province. Refer to Charter of K. Charles II to the Lords Proprietors, "who having humbly bescught leave of H.M. by their industry and charge to transport and make an ample Colony of H.M. subjects into the said country at that time only inhabited by some barbarous people who had no knowledge of Almighty God being thereto excited with a laudable and pious zeal for the propagation of ye Christian faith and the enlargement of H.M. Empire and Dominions as is most amply sett forth in the said Charter." Continues:—Notwithstanding which the Lords Proprietors etc. have not to this day been at any charge or used any endeavours to propogate the Gospell amongst the said barbarous people who continue as ignorant of Almighty God and the Christian faith as before the granting of the said Charter. Neither have the said Lords Proprietors been industrious at their charge to transport and make an ample Colony of H.M. subjects in the said Province, but on the contrary from time to time impeaded and hindered the peopleing the same by violating the covenants made with H.M. subjects who upon their fair promisses were invited to be at ye charge of transporting themselves and thereby prevaricating with H.M. who upon those consideracons granted them the said Royal Charter. And as one of the principal designs of his said Majesty in granting the said Charter with such ample powers and jurisdiccons to the said Lords Proprietrs. was for the good governmt. and safety of his leige subjects in ye said Province, yet the Lords Proprietors have so abased that trust and confidence reposed in them that by their confused administracon over your Majesty's subjects in this Province they are neither safe in their liberties or properties, But have abandoned the Government to evil Ministers and exposed us to ye ravages of most barbarous enemys. Whereby wee hope it will be evident to your most Gracious Majestye that they have acted contrary to the design of their original trust and that the same will more fully appear by these our grievances etc.:—That the said Lords Proprietors were by their said Charter impowered to build and found Churches Chappels and Oratories in convenient and fitt places etc., and to cause them to be dedicated and consecrated according to the ecclesiastical laws of the Kingdom of England together with full and ample rights, privileges etc. necessary for the same. Yet the said Lords Proprietors (in neglect of those extensive powers granted to them on the great confidence H.M. had in their religious and good intencons) have not to this day erected any Church Chapel or Oratorie for Divine worship nor any school or seminary for the education of youth in the principals of the Christian Religion nor ever reserved any places within any bounds or limitts for the same or soe much as covenanted with any of your Majesties subjects to whom they have sold lands for the reservation of any bounds limitts or places for the same nor procured the dedication or consecration according to ye ecclesiastical laws of England of any of those built by ye inhabitants whereby those unhappy and woful consequences by their neglect herein has befallen us, that the youth by imbibing irreligion for want of due education may become as barbarous as the native savages. Further we doe represent unto your Majestie that the said Lords Proprietors by the said Charter were indued with full power and authority "to give and conferr unto and upon such of the inhabitants of the said Province as were capable of marks and titles of honour and favour and who for their deserts and services might expect the same." But the sd. Lords Proprietors instead thereof sent over a number of blank patents for creating Landgraves and Cassiques to their Governour and Receiver General in this Province in order to have them exposed to sale at a certain price, soe that the persons who by their deserts were intituled to any such marks of honour thought this proceedure soe mean that it was beneath them to accept thereof. And whereas the said Lords Proprietrs. their heirs and assignes are by the said Charter fully impowered to erect raise and build within the said Province etc., such and soe many forts, cities, villages, etc., and the same or any of them to fortify and furnish with ordnance, powder, shot etc. and all other habiliments of warr etc. as should be thought fitt and convenient for the safety and wellfare of the said Province etc. Whereby wee conclude with great submission that his late Majesty had a tender regard for and was particularly carefull of the defence and safety of such of his subjects that were to be settlers in the said Province as well from the invasions and incursions of the barbarous Indian savages as other enemys. But such was the negligence of the said Lords Proprietrs. that neither in the infancy of the Colony or any time since have they sett apart or appropriated any of their lands for erecting towns villages or fortificacons or soe much as contributed one penny towards the raising any forts or other fortificacons which to almost the ruin of the inhabitants they had been oblidged to build by advancing a great part of the little estates they brought with them to settle this Province which they had obtained with great pains hazard and industry. Otherwise by the said incapacity of the said Lords Proprietors to assist us this part of your Matyes. Dominions had been lost to your Empire had it not been for the vigorous defence made by the inhabitants against the several attempts made to subdue them. That the said Lords Proprietors contrary to express powers granted them by the said Charter not to ordain make or enact any laws or ordinances but what were consonant to reason and as near as may be conveniently agreeable to the laws and customs of England and soe as the same doe not extend to the binding charging or taking away of the right or interest of any person or persons in their freehold goods or chattells whatsoever. Yet notwithstanding the said Lords Proprietors did in 1704 under their hands and seals ratify and confirme two Acts of Assembly of this Province the first entitled an Act for establishing religious worship in this Province according to the Church of England and for erecting Churches and for the maintenance of Ministers etc., and the second, for the more effectual preservation of the Government of this Province by requiring all persons that should be then chosen members of the Commons house of Assembly to take oaths and subscribe the declaracon appointed by that Act and to conforme to the religious worship in this Province according to the rites and usages of the said Church by which Act a great part of your Matyes. freeborn subjects inhabitants in this Province were excluded from being Members of the General Assembly. And tho' it was represented to the said Lords Proprietrs. that there were many corrupt practices made use of by their Governmt. here in order to have those Acts passed and that it was contrary to the rights and liberties of your Maties. subjects, yet they refused to redress the said grievances until application was made to the honble. house of Lords who having fully and maturely weigh'd the nature of these two Acts address'd her late Majestie Queen Anne setting forth that the former of these Acts was not warranted by the Charter etc. being not consonant to reason repugnant to the laws of England and distructive to the constitution of the Church of England. And that the latter of those two Acts was founded upon falsity in matter of fact, was repugnant to the laws of England, contrary to the Charter, was an encouragement to atheism and irreligion destructive to trade and tended to the depopulating and ruining the said Province. And besought H.M. to use the most effectual method to deliver the said Province from the arbitrary oppression under which it lay and order the authors thereof to be prosecuted according to law. Quote Representation of Board of Trade 24th May, 1706, and Order in Council, 10th June, 1706 (v. C.S.P.) for proceeding against the Charter. Continue: By the said Charter King Charles II did in express words save the faith allegiance and sovereign dominion due to H.M. his heirs and successors for the said Province and alsoe the right title and interest of all and every his subjects of the English Nation in the same and declares them to be the liege people of the Crown of England and to have right to all the liberties franchises and priviledges of Englishmen as if they were born in the Kingdom of England. Yet the said Lords Proprietors having but small regard to the Royal reserve of your Majesties Soveraignty over this Province have assumed a despotick authority exceeding the regal power in Great Britain in repealing and abrogating by themselves alone several beneficial laws from time to time which were after a most solemn manner ratifyed and confirmed by their deputies impowered by them so to doe under their respective hands and seals with the advice and consent of the representatives of the freemen mett in open Assembly for the good Government and safety of this Province after a most arbitrary manner trampling upon the rights and liberties of your Matyes. subjects who have as Englishmen a incontestable right of being governed by noe laws made here but what are consented to by them, which laws we presume are of full force untill repealed by the same authority that made them, and sometimes this is done by two or three of the Proprietors who pretend to have proxies or deputacons from the absent Proprietors or from the Guardians of the Proprietors under age tho' at the same time those same Proprietors or Guardians to those under age give proxies or deputacons to their representatives in this Province who in behalf of their Principals ratifye and confirme those laws to the great confusion of their administration contrary to any power given to them by their Charter endangering the safety of H.M. subjects in this Government and in derogation of the usual methods practised by them heretofore in the like cases, tho' their Deputies and Freemen here have never denyed to repeal any laws when recommended thereto by the said Proprietors. These proceedings together with the uncertain method of their administring their Government over your Majesties subjects sometimes by a Governr. representing the first person of the Proprietors in England and seven Deputies each separately representing the person of a Proprietor doeing all sorts of Government without a Council of the inhabitants. Anon by a Governr. and seven Deputies each respectively representing the whole board of Proprietors likewise without any Councill. At another time a Governr. representing the whole body of the Proprietors and twelve others as a Council wherein they make noe distinction of foreigners unnaturalized and H.M. free-born subjects, have put us under unspeakable hardships never knowing our constitucon, destroying all publick credit soe necessary in this frontier Province to defend ourselves against our enemys and defeating all measures taken for our safety and preservation and good government of this Province. Not to instance all the Acts of Assembly they have taken upon them to repeal; they have repealed a law that lays a duty on negroes imported from Affrica which was appropriated to repair the fortificacons of this Province and to maintain some soldiers on the frontiers placed there to repulse the Spaniards and Indians living at St. Augustine who continually make incursions on this Settlement and for maintaining our Clergy by which means the Lords Proprietors did what in them lay to deprive our Clergy of a maintainance and to make us an easy conquest to the Spaniards who understanding our weak and defenceless condicon are preparing forces at the Havana and other Spanish ports to invade us at a time when by the vast debts contracted by the Indian warr and the expedition against the pyrates all our taxes and other funds were anticipated for severall years. They have alsoe taken upon them to repeal one other Act for ascertaining the manner and forme of choosing representatives of the Freemen to meet in Assembly wherein was followed the method most agreeable to the laws of England and consonant to the method practised in other your Matyes. Dominions in America by which law all members for the future to be chosen in the several parishes and precincts through the Province by way of balloting and appointing the number according to the largeness of each parish. And the said Proprietors have substituted in its place an unprecedented method of summoning all the Freemen of the Province into two bodys to chose their Representatives by subscribing their names to lists of Representatives to the major part of whom the Freemen are generally strangers. Whereby giving room for faction corruption and tumultuous meetings and to the great expence of time travel and money to the Freemen.
That the Constitucon of the said Lords Proprietors Government is inconsistent and injurious to your Majesties said subjects for the Lords Proprietors whose powers and prerogatives are united in them all, not to be disjoynted, take upon them to send a Governour as a representative and Deputy of the first member of their number called the Palatine and each of the other Proprietors their respective Deputies making in all eight which sitt debate and vote as a Council of the Province, a body which in all other H.M. Colonys is formed to be a barrier between the Governour and people. These Deputys by their employment are wholy dependant upon their constituants and therefore think themselves obliged to carry everything they can in favour of the Lords Proprietors intentions and advantage being likewise bound by an oath to doe nothing repugnant to their interests ofttimes without any regard had to the publick good of the Colony. And when any of the Lords Proprietors Deputies are soe honest as to vote against the Lords Proprietors or their Governours private interest proposed they are turned out and others put in their room. These Deputys have power given to them to reject any law proposed for the good of the Colony but if it should happen that it should pass them, then the Governr. pretends another negative upon them, and sometimes the Lords Proprietors take upon them to appoint another to have a negative upon the Governour. And lastly the Lords Proprietors themselves assume a power of repealing those very Acts ratifyed and confirmed by their said Governour and Deputies. Soe that the Lords Proprietors who by their Charter ought to have but one negative assume sometimes three and sometimes four negatives upon the laws agreed to and passed by the Representatives of the Freemen mett in Assembly. And having noe Councill between them and the people they suffer noe law to pass or if passed to be of any longer force than suites with their private views and designs to the great confusion and intire loss of all publick credit soe necessary in the frontier Collony and distractive to the liberties and properties and apparent violation of the free Constitucon of H.M. freeborn subjects. That tho' the said Lords Proprietors are impowered by their said Charter to erect citys burrough towns or villages by granting charters of incorporations franchises and priviledges to any body of people yet they have altogether neglected to doe the same neither have they settled any County jurisdicion for the preservation of the peace and regular Government according to the laws of England neither have they erected one mannor for holding Court Baron or to have and to hold veiws of frank pledge and Court Leets for the conservation of the peace and better Government of this Colony but have abandoned all to an unacountable disorder and confusion under the administracon and underhand management of a single person whom they have commissionated and call Chief Justice who solely and by himselfe holds all Courts of Kings Bench Common Pleas and Exchequer as above all Assize County Courts and Sessions only in Charles Town the only place of Judicatu[r]e in the whole Province who makes what lawyers and takes what fees he pleases summoning all persons from the remotest parts of the Colony to attend his Courts noe appeals from himself but to himself nor no method of appeals settled for the ease of your Matyes. subjects to your Majesty and Council as is done in the rest of your Matyes. Colonies nor any process suffered to be issued in your Matyes. name, judge of his own errors the Marshal and other officers taking what fees they will and he upon frivolous pretences adjourning Courts and putting off tryals delaying justice in order to multiply his perquisits which are according to his own arbitrary pleasure dayly exacting and extorting new fees to the intolerable burthern of the clyent undertaking himselfe to draw writings and afterwards judging in his Courts the validity of those writings according to his own pleasure sending for the lawyers and giving secrett advice both to them and the clyents how to proceed in their causes and insists that noe General Assembly or authority here can either call him to an account or remove him nor even the Lords Proprietors themselves unless notoriously proved guilty of such misdemeanours before the Lords Proprietors in London as they themselves judge he deserves. He having words incerted in his Comission to that purpose by the said Proprietors, but by the small regard the sd. Lords Proprietors have had to the repeated complaints made both by the publick and private persons injured by him wee find they cannot be induced to remove him he always by his insinuations perswading them he is the only person that can serve their interests in Carolina tho' no person has been ever more prejudicial to them. The notorious crimes and offences which imediately relate to him as Chief Justice will appear in a Remonstrance and Impeachment brought against him by the Commons house of Assembly now sent to your Majestyes judges in England. That when in the year 1715 the Nation of savages called Yamasees had at the instigation of the Spanish garrison of St. Augustine cruelly massacred your Matyes. subjects in those frontiers and committed most barbarous depredations in the very heart of the Settlement upon their being repulsed by the inhabitants, the said Spanish garrison protected them and bought their plunder and furnished them with arm's provision and ammunition (tho' in the midst of peace with the Crown of Spain) in order to renew their depredations. All which being represented to the said Lords Proprietors to take some effectual means to put a stop to this barborous dealing of the Spaniards yet they never regarded the lives and estates of your Matyes. subjects but some of them replyed to several that went from hence. If the inhabitants were distroyed the country might be settled by a better people. It was alsoe represented to them that the said garrison harboured and protected rebells felons debtors servants and negroes that fled or run away thither which put us to a great charge in garding that frontier even in time of peace but all to noe purpose the Lords Proprietors never soe much as gave an answer to the same. We further represent that it is of very great consequence to the whole British Dominions in America to drive the Spaniards from St. Augustine for not to instance the enlargement of the Indian trade which takes of a good quantity of the British manufacture it will be a notable barrier to your Matyes Colonys on the main, keep the Indians in a greater dependance on English Government being deprived of the refuge they always find there protect and releive his Matyes. subjects that often are cast away coming thro' the Gulph of Florida and most barbarously murdered by the Florida Indians. And to the enriching his Matyes subjects by the wrecks of the rich Spanish gallions and other richly laden Spanish ships that are frequently cast on the shoar of Florida coming thro' the Gulph the only passage they use to old Spain. That notwithstanding the great expence we were at in the said Indian warr with the said Yamasees and their confederates which not only preserved the Lords Proprietors lands not yet settled or taken up but also such lands as they have appropriated to their own private and particular use from falling into the hands of the Indians they have not contributed to any part of the charge either by tax or otherwise excepting about 150 small arms. And when the Agents of this Province made application to them they declared their incapacity to assist us. But least your Majesty under our extream necessities should take us under your most gracious protection they prevaricated with the Lords Comissioners of Trade who put some queries to them being desirous to know what steps they had taken towards our defence and what they had contributed for that purpose. They told the Lords of Trade they had sent us large quantities of armes and amunition and had ordered their Receiver General to appropriate all such monys as was in his hands to our use which they thought would stop the Lords of Trade from enquiring any more after the miserable condicon of his Matyes. subjects in Carolina altho in fact they ordered their said Receiver by the very next opportunity to make remittances to them of every penny of their moneys in his hands, soe left us to strugle with all those insuportable difficulties, even to the almost intire loss of the Province and during two years and half of that unhappy time they never wrote one letter to their Governour and Deputies here and took noe more notice of us than if they had abandoned the Province. We alsoe take leave to represent to your Majestie when by the Proprietors male administracon of the Government of North Carolina they brought a bloody Indian warr upon the Inhabitants thereof, wherein many hundreds of your Matyes. subjects were distroyed and barbarously murdered. It was insinuated to the Assembly here by the Lords Proprietors Deputies that if they would raise mony and send assistance to North Carolina they should be reimbursed out of the Lords Proprietors quitt-rents. Yet notwithstanding the great expence we were at and the loss of lives of several brave men of this Settlement in that warr which was vigorously prosecuted until it was happily ended to the saving of that Province to the Lords Proprietors they never to this day refunded one penny or even soe much as gave thanks for preserving their lands tho' we were noe ways oblidged to be at the least expence or trouble about the same. In 1718 one Thatch a notorious pyrate better known by the name of Blackbeard came off the Port of Charles Town and took several ships belonging to your Majestyes subjects trading to this Province and made several persons of note inhabitants of this Settlement prisoners and went directly to North Carolina where under pretence of accepting of your Majestyes gracious pardon by the connivance of the Proprietors' Governour there committed several acts of pyracy there in the very face of that Government and several parcels of pyratical goods were found in their Governours and Secretarys custody in soe much that their Government of North Carolina became a nest of pyrates, and your Majesties Governour of Virginia being touched with concerne to find that any of your Majesty's Dominions should be thus basely scandalized, made a complaint to the said Lords Proprietors of those proceedings. And they instead of bringing such base offenders to condign punishment according to their wonted supineness and negligence took noe notice of the same. That as soon as the inhabitants of this Settlement had driven the said savage Yamasees from their lands adjoyning to Port Royal in order to strengthen that frontier and encourage newcommers to come in and plant the same their Representatives in Assembly obtained two Acts to be passed into Laws for dividing those lands amongst such of H.M. Protestant subjects as should come and settle the same excluding under severe penalties such persons having land already in this Province from buying any the said lands tho' by the Lords Proprietors instruccons to their officers here any person might have bought the whole or any part thereof until by those Acts they were restrained. And abstracts of those Acts being sent into Great Britain and Ireland and printed there gave such incouragement that about 500 of H.M. Protestant subjects transported themselves in order to take the benefit of the same and on which the planters that had escaped the Indian massacre were enabled to returne to their plantacons in the frontiers. But all this was interrupted by an unseasonable repeal of those Acts by the Lords Proprietors under pretence first that as the lands were their property soe they would dispose of the same as they thought fitt, secondly by an instrument under their hands they made a distribucon of the same far short of that made by the said Act of Assembly which the new commers finding noe other remedy were forced to comply with and began their surveys upon those lands; But thirdly to the great surprize of the whole Province and the utter ruin and confusion of the new comers and in breach of their publick faith the Lords Proprietors sent orders to their Surveyor General that all those lands should be surveyed for their own private use and that they might be sure to take in the whole tract of the Yamasee settlement they directed much more to be appropriated to their private use then the said Settlement was ever accounted to contain. And tho' ye several persons had payed the purchase mony to their Receiver General here for those very lands yet they are not only refused having any titles confirmed to them for the same after the usual methods prescribed but alsoe the said Receiver General refuses to returne them their monys. It is impossible to view the consequence of this proceeding of the Lords Proprietors without horror. The old Settlers in the frontiers missing of that reinforcement there, of the newcommers again deserted their settlements leaving open the southern part of this Province to the enemy to their great encouragement and indangering the whole, and reduceing the new commers into soe miserable a condicon that by sickness contracted by their often removings and spending all their substance they brought to begin their settlements are reduced to that want and poverty that they are daily consuming and perishing and those that have anything left removing off the Province to the great weakning the same. That notwithstanding the many addresses made by the Genl. Assembly from time to time to the Lords Proprietors to take some measures to prevent the French from incroaching on this part of H.M. Dominions and especially at the beginning of the Treaty of Utrecht our Agent Mr. Ketleby presented a Memorial relating to the same to the then Duke of Beaufort Palatine they not only abandoned all to an unaccountable neglect but also when in May 1715 the French from Mobile having prevailed on the Albama Indians to murder our factors amongst them tho' it is notoriously known that that place belonged to this Government and Settlement several years before the French ever settled at Mobile or anywhere thereabouts the said French imediately nevertheless took possession of the said place and secured the same by building a fort which they vainly call New Thoulouse and all these encroachments were complained of without any prospect of redress. That since that time the French not contented with that usurpation continued to incroach by making forts at the mouth of the rivers belonging to this Province and ariseing near our Settlements insisting that by their Charter they are enabled soe to doe by the words of the same which makes their bounds to extend eastward as far as the settlements of the people of Carolina soe that now they having made themselves masters of Pansacola a late Spanish fort conveniently scituated they surround this Settlement from the mountains to the sea vizt. to the North-west the West and the South West which has already this dismal effect that all the Nations of Indians towards those points and but lately under our Government have withdrawn themselves from the same and subjected themselves to the French. And as wee can't tell where or when these incroachments will end, soe as they are now scituated and our Settlement scattered along the sea shoar for 150 miles there is nothing under God can prevent their taking possession of this Province upon the first war with France, we being assured by deserters that there is at least 4000 men imported there within a few months, over and above what was already there and more expected daily by the great incouragement given by the ministry of France who transport them freight free and maintain them with provision untill they are able to support themselves. We are further to observe that there lies an open levell champion country from their late incroachments to our settlements plentiful of venison and other game sufficient to sustain 2000 men in a march against us as it has several times been experienced by our expeditions to Apalatché soe that what by the late Indian warr the necessity wee were under to subdue the pyrates the expence of a defensive warr against the Spaniards and Indians at St. Augustine by maintaining garrisons and scout boats against them the demolition of our principal fortifycacons by storms and the expences arising to repair the same the vast presents wee are obliged to make to the Indians to keep up a party amongst them from depending altogether upon the French interest and lastly the weak and unsteady constitution of the Lords Proprietors Government who have always rather opposed the methods we endeavoured to have taken to strengthen ourselves then contributed to our support and by this means we have lost all manner of credit noebody venturing to trust any publick funds contrived for our support that we are reduced to the last extremity ingulphed in debts without any prospect of extricating ourselves, all our funds anticipated for several years to come our expences increasing without any view of answering them all which are soe well known to our enemys and incroaching neighbours that they not only contemn us but look upon us as an abandoned people void of the Royal protection of your Matye. soe that without your Majesties assistance and steady Government this hopeful Province will be lost to the British Empire to the endangering Virginia and other your Majesties Dominions and the irreparable loss of the beneficial trade of the same. Thus most gracious Sovereign we have been constrained by the many hardships wee have laboured under from the Lords Proprietors and viewing with terror our own unhappy and weak condition unable to resist the attempts of the Spaniards who are making preparacon to invade us or putting a stop to the continual incroachments of the French Settlement of Missisipi, being intirely exhausted by a long and expensive bloody warr with the barbarous Indians and which is worst of all under the Government of Proprietors who are both unable and unwilling to help us have o(b)liged us as English men and denizons of England born to all the rights and priviledges thereof to fly properly for aid and assistance to your most sacred Majesty our onely truely Sovereign Lord humbly supplicating your Royal compassion noe ways doubting your Majesty's approbation of our assuming the Government here in your name in this time of eminent danger and confusion there being noe other remedy to secure this Settlement from ruin and the inhabitants from deserting the same to the utter loss of soe considerable a part of your Dominions. Therefore wee most humbly pray your Majesty to take us under the wing of your Majesties immediate Government that therein wee may pertake of the Royal blessings which your happy subjects enjoy under the direct influence of your Scepter. Wee throw ourselves at your Majesties feet. And that all Heavenly and temporal blessings may perpetually be showred upon your Sacred Majestie our lawful and rightfull Sovereign and upon your Royal issue shall ever be the prayer of your Majesties loyal and distressed subjects settled in South Carolina. Signed, Richd. Allein, Sam. Eveleigh, Alexandr. Parris, B. Schenckingh, Samuel Prioleau, George Chicken, Thos. Smith. By order of the Commons House of Assembly. T. Hepworth, Speaker. 9½ large pp. [C.O. 5, 382. No. 20.]
Feb. 3.
542. Council of Trade and Plantations to Earl Stanhope. Ask for "H.M. Orders to build us two new rooms upon a piece of spare ground adjacent to our office appertaining to H.M." etc. cf. 9th Jan., and 3rd April, 1718. [C.O. 389, 37. p. 170.]
Feb. 3. 543. Agents of Barbados to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Reply to the complaints against the Governor of Barbados, in relation to his permitting a Spanish sloop to trade there, and to his receiving of money. We admitt that upon a long examination of Pablo Planes before the Governor and Council, did appear that the goods on board were but of small value and could not in rigour be called a cargo or loading (v. 25th Feb.) Wherefore the Governor was of opinion that as it would be a great advantage to the Island, to encourage and induce the Spanyards to bring thither their mony and West India commoditys, soe he knew of no Act of Parliamt. against it, with which opinion the Councill unanimously agreed and concurred with the Governor that Pablo Planes or any other Spanyards might be permitted to unload and sell his or their said goods there, provided they brought nothing but the produce of the Spanish West Indies etc. It does not appear from the Minutes of Council, 19th Dec., 1718, that Mr. Cox made any remonstrance, as he pretends, but was present and concurred etc. Refer to enclosure. It has always been thought prudent to connive at a trade from Jamaica to the Spanish coast etc. The merchants agree that a like trade from Barbados would be advantageous etc.
As to the money said to have been paid to Governor Lowther (i) the first sum, £130, was paid not to him but to Capt. Waldie with the thanks of the Assembly for his great civility to the Governor his Lady and family in their passage to Barbados. (ii) £3750 Island money was voted to defray the Governor's expences in being recalled and returning to Barbados, and repairing Pilgrim's. (iii) £1000 for furnishing his cellars, which was accustomary and has allways been given to the Governor of that Island. (iv) £1300 for his entertaining the Council, Assembly, Judges and Officers of the Court of Grand Sessions. (v) £4050 for his expences for supporting the honour of the Government, and for solemnizing the happy success of H.M. arms, against the rebells of Great Britain. (vi) £1300 for reimbursing the Governor's expences in the administration of publick affairs. (vii) £3960 was voted by the Assembly, for that it was directed by an Act of Assembly, that a quantity of land should be purchased at the publick charge to supply the want of land at Pilgrims, which not being done, they voted this money as an equivalent. (viii) £1950 voted in acknowledgment of the great care he had had in promoting tranquility etc. (ix) £3900, as a gratefull acknowledgment for his expences in the administration of Government. (x) £1950. We have not seen any Minutes in relation thereto etc. As to expenses, refer to exorbitant price of all fresh provisions in that Island. The votes were made unanimously, agreed to by the Council, and entered in the Minutes. There has been no endeavour at concealment. The money is not so much in proportion as that received by the Governor's predecessors, without any complaints being made against them, so that wee may reasonably conclude, that this present complaint is exhibited more out of malice, partiallity and party, than from a sense of any injury, done to either the Island or private persons. Wee believe that some of the Gentlemen, that did attend Mr. Cox's complaint, were Members of the Assembly in Mr. Sharpe's time (who was sent to succeed Mr. Lowther, by the late Lord Bolingbroke, and that Ministry), we say, that very Assembly, gave much more mony in tenn months, than was ever given to any Governor in the time etc. We cannot doubt, but that your Lordships will give the Governor an oppurtunity of justifying himself. Signed, Geo. Bampfeild, Alexr. Stevenson. Endorsed, Recd. Read 3rd Feb. 1719/20. 6¾ pp. Enclosed,
543. i. Deposition of Henry Lascelles, Collector of Customs, Barbados. 3rd Feb. 1719. No such Spanish sloop as is described by Mr. Cox entered or cleared in the Custom-House, Barbados, etc. Signed, Henry Lascelles. ¾ p. [C.O. 28, 15. Nos. 66, 66 i.; and (without enclosure) 29, 14. pp. 43–52.]
Feb. 3.
544. Mr. Popple to Thomas Trion. The Council of Trade and Plantations desire to speak with the complainants against Mr. Lowther, in order to know if they have any further proof etc. [C.O. 29, 14. p. 53.]
Feb. 3. 545. Mr. Buck and the Co-partners for settling the Bahama Islands to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Reply to account of Jan. 21st. No. 1. Narrate steps taken by them to resettle the Islands, and repeat account of inhabitants of Providence etc. Continue:—We were no sooner assured that the Proprietors had surrendered the Government, and that resolutions were taken to send thither a garrison, but we sent to several places in America to invite planters and merchants to settle there, and for their encouragement, to supply them with all necessarys. We fitted out four shipps with propper cargoes to purchase negros, live cattle, timber, and lumber for building of houses, allso with clothes and tools for cutting wood and clearing the land, and gave three years creditt for the same to such planters as should come to settle. We also hired and sent severall handicrafts with proper tools for clearing the lands and building of houses, and were at the charge of transporting the Independt. Company, and severall famillys to the number of 200. Our agents dying soon after their arrivall, the Governor took upon him to seize the said shipps to make guard shipps, and to dispose of their cargos for building forts etc. as 31st Oct., 1718. The old inhabitants have generally been pirates, are neither honest nor industrious, working does not agree with them, and they may want necessarys etc.
The inhabitants of Eluthera and Harbour Island, being generally industrious, have plenty of all the necessarys of life, having great stores of Indian corn, yams, potatoes and cassada roots growing there etc. as 31st Oct. 1718, May 29, 1719 etc.
Urge the Government to send a few large iron cannon and 250 men to strengthen the garrison. Continue: There must be one great errour in the report that says the inhabitants are allready decreased to less than 200, for in a letter of a very late date the Governour advises that he was going to send 300 men belonging to that Island upon an expedition under Capt. Hildersley, H.M.S. Flamborough, besides there are 7 or 8 privateers out a cruizing upon the Spaniards with the Governour's commission, and we are well assured that many of the Switz, French and Pallatines we sent over are still living. It was never our design to ingross the trade of these islands etc. To encourage merchants to trade thither we have not laid any duties, nor demanded any anchorage or other fees. And we have sent but one ship from England since the Governour seized our effects soon after his arrivall etc. We have been at vast expence, and very great risque in beginning the settlement, and maintaining the people we sent there etc. the great end at first proposed which was clearing those Islands and seas of pirates is now answer'd, and those pirates forced to fly to Africa for shelter. Since the pirates have been dispersed, the Harbour of Providence has never been without ten or twelve trading vessells belonging to other Collonies, sometimes 20 or 30 at a time. We hope the Crown will both assist and protect the settlement, if the Co-partners keep their rights, who would not so generously have advanced their money for the publick good, if they had not relyed on the Government for protection etc. As to the objection of alterations and innovations:—The Co-partners have for incouragement of planters reduced the quitt rent from three pence to one penny sterling per acre, and have only obliged them to clear and cultivate at least one half of their lands in three years. And for the better peopling the Island were desirous not to allow more then 25 acres to any one person nor too great a tract of land to any one familly. As to the suggestion that no provision is made for a Minister or Chief Justice out of the royalties, the Co-partners have not received £20 out of all the royalties. They did send out a French minister with the French etc., and agreed to carry over an English Minister, who when the shipps were ready refused to go. Application has been made to the Bishop of London and the Society for Propagation of the Gospell for another etc. We are informed that H.M. has appointed Christo. Gale Chief Justice etc. We do agree that the Bahama Islands are of too great importance to be left with a slender garrison in the hands either of Proprietors or Leasees, and deserve the immediate care of the Crown, to whom we are willing to surrender our lease and title upon being reimbursed our charges, to prevent so useful a place falling again into the hands of either Spaniards, French, or pirates, and should be glad that any advantages of trade might be allowed by making it a free port. Our agents have never demanded any customs, fees or dutys. Curraseau, Jamaica and St. Thomas are very far from being free ports, as suggested, etc. Signed, Sam. Buck. Endorsed, Recd. 3rd. Read 4th Feb., 1719/20. 5 pp. [C.O. 23, 1. No. 21.]
Feb. 4. 547. Mr. Solicitor General to Mr. Popple. Reply to 2nd Feb. I think it plain that by the first clause in the Act of Navigation, 12 of Charles II, the Spanish ships referred to are prohibited to be imported into our Colonys or Plantations under the penalty of the loss of their ships and goods also they are prohibited to export goods from thence in shipping not English etc. Signed, Wm. Thomson. Endorsed, Recd. 4th. Read 5th Feb. 1719/20. ½. p. [C.O. 28, 15. No. 68; and 29,14. p. 56].
Feb. 4. 548. Thomas Bernard, a Councillor of Jamaica, to John Chetwynd (a Commissioner for Trade and Plantations). Acknowledges letter. Continues: The approbation you give of the Council emboldens me to trouble you a second time. All hopes of the last Assembly proving vain, the Governor was persuaded to dissolve them, and some time being allowd them to cool, a new was convened 20th Oct. In the elections the same practices were used by the same persons to get those elected who had been most furious in their opposition to the King's authority, and most disposed to revive the former personal differences; but not altogether with the same success. After more than a month's sitting, and a months adjournment upon their second meeting they pass'd four mony bills, the Additional Duty and Deficiency, both liable to all the same objections, and contrary to the same Instructions with those of last year, a third to revive some former mony bills, and lastly, a bill appropriating the sums rais'd by the other Acts, which was postpon'd to the last, till their demands were complyd with, and in it they have inserted some of the most unreasonable, and made them a necessary condition of supporting the Government. Among others, there were two extraordinary clauses one, to prevent any of the mony given as a supply to H.M. Revenue, from being applied to the discharging any orders, against which the Assembly had addressed. And the other, to impower the Receiver General to pay the Attorney General, the new Speaker, certain fees, without passing through the usual forms of the Government, of an order from the Governor and Council, and cited at the Board. The first was levell'd at Lord A. Hamilton, Mr. Stewart and Coll. Howard, who had both been commanders of the Fort at Port Royal, agt. whose orders the Assembly in the beginning of Mr. Heywood's Government, had address'd and promis'd to shew the reasons, wch. they neglecting to do in that and the succeeding sessions, Mr. Stewart was reviv'd by Mr. Heywood and his Council, a little time before he left the Government, and Col. Howard's by the present Governor, but for want of mony have not been paid. This, Sir, is a new encroachment in depriving the Governor and Council of the ordering and issuing H.M. Revenue vested in them by his patent and instructions, and that without any representation or complaint made; and the hardship is the greater that the pay of the Lt. gunners and matrosses of the Fort who cou'd never have offended them, is included in one of them. Lord A. Hamilton's are orders upon that mony, which was taken out of Mr. Major's hands, which his Lordship advancd out of his own pocket, and were disallowed in Mr. Knight the Receiver General's accounts, and must be added to the sum already due to his Lordp., and the then Council, for subsisting the soldiers; which tho' so often determin'd by H.M. to be a just debt, they have this Sessions again refused to pay. The Attorney General opposing it with all imaginable bitterness, and saying upon that occasion, that King James had been forc'd to abdicate for less crimes; it is not at all surprizing, a person of his religion shou'd think the introducing of Popery a trivial fault. The other, is an incroachmt. of the same nature, occasion'd by some regulations the Council had made upon his fees now swelled to a very great summ, too burthensome for the Revenue to bear, already short of it's annual charge, and which they thought, ought more properly to be charged upon the sevl. parties, and it has the worse aspect, since the Speaker himself is the King's Attorney, whose duty it is to oppose such incroachments, tho' the first to promote them; when they take upon them to pay officers, it is easy to foresee, where the dependence must be, and instead of the King's, in time they will become the Assembly's Officers. To these bills the Council gave their assent much against their inclinations; But the last allarum had made us so sensible of the weak condition of the Island and the risque we should run in case of a real attempt, that we hope, we are in no present danger of any, to be found with an empty Treasury and a bankrupt credit; that notwithstanding the Assembly persist in their obstinacy at all hazards, we choose to give way to the necessity of the times, and leave the supporting the King's Instructions to the King's Ministers, who had the framing of them, and who have sufficient power to do it, had they sufficient leisure for such remote considerations; and the visible want of that encourages these men in their insolence. Indeed Sir the strife is grown too unequal between a very few gentlemen of H.M. Council on the one side, and the Gvr. and Assembly on the other. Perhaps we might have attempted some amendments had not the Govr. in his Speech precluded us, as I formerly told you, by declaring that we had no right to amend either in the raising or applying parts, and if we have no right to amend in those parts, we have in effect no right at all. Had these bills miscarried by such an attempt, he wou'd not have fail'd to throw the whole odium upon us. If Govrs. Sr. are sufferd to prevaricate with and explain away their Instructions, so contrary to the plain word and meaning; I know not to what purpose it is to give any. When the Lords Commissioners take his Speech into consideration, I hope they will assert the Instructions, and do the Council justice in that point. This favorite bill was the solliciting bill, this the Council rejected; and because they had not enter'd their reasons, wch. seem'd unnecessary, when so many appear'd already in former Journals; The Governor treated them in a harsh unbecoming manner, not consistent with the freedom of a Council of State, and much less as they were acting as a Legislative Body in a distinct capacity from the Govr., of wch. sort of treatment he himself and the rest of the then Council had made heavy complaints agt. the Earl of Inchiquin, in a letter subscribed by him to the Lords of Trade, wherein they say that instead of faithfull Counsellors, they were oblig'd to be either mutes or flatterers. The reasons for rejecting it were, their assuming the sole nomination of the Agent to themselves, and in effect the whole management of the affairs of the Island, being five to two. Tho' there were some heads to sollicit upon, as the passing of Laws, and the cession of Campeachy (which last I recommended last year, to some friends, as a receptacle for the loose disorderly sailors, and the most likely thing to divert them from their piratical courses) yet they were left at large to sollicit whatever else they thought fit, without being oblig'd to communicate to the Govr. in the intervals of Assembly. This we thought too dangerous a power to lodge in such a set of men, the principal of wch., Mr. Kelley, was notoriously an Irish papist, and a countenancer and encourager here, of all persons of the same nation and religion, one whom the Govr. has said was vehemently suspected of being with the Pretender, and listing men for his service, one who, when intrusted with the management of the private subscription mony, did not stick at the base methods of subornation and perjury to ruin Ld. A. Hamilton; and the rest, men of no principles, and all remarkable for their constant opposition to the King's authority; and it is plain from the frame of their present bills, that the laws they design'd to sollicit for, are such as are flatly contradictory to the King's Instructions, and derogatory to his authority. What hopes the Govr. had form'd from this Bill, is past my skill to find out; But it is easy to see their view in it, was to carry on their designs under the countenance of publick authority, and by the help of that and their private subscriptions, they flatter themselves to bring about whatever they shall please to attempt, and in this they have been too much encouraged by their former success. To me there seems little need of it, since we have always found a readiness in the Lords Commrs. of Trade to recommend such laws for H.M. approbation as were really for the interest of the island, and conceiv'd in modest and dutifull terms. If any Office fees are to be paid, those may be easily advanced by the Govr. to be repaid out of the publick Treasury. But shou'd it be thought necessary, I humbly offer that both the person and salary shou'd be appointed by H.M.; without that, to pass it in its present form, and at the present juncture, is to put a sword into the hands of cutthroats and madmen. There were besides, a bill or two, of no great moment, past, and one, for the relief of such as had suffer'd from piracies committed by H.M. subjects, intended principally for the service of Mons. Bonfils and some other Frenchmen. Refers to this case, v. supra. Continues:—While this Bill was depending, the Assembly were guilty of a great folly and presumption in admitting and reading in their House, letters from the French Govr. and Intendant at Hispaniola directed à Messieurs L'Illistre and Souvereine Assemblee de la Jamaique. Notwithstanding it was very general and of an unusual nature, invalidating in great part the King's pardon by subjecting every man's estate (restor'd by that pardon) who had ever been concern'd either in the piracies or in receiving any of the goods, to make satisfaction; And that the Council apprehended it might be made a bad use of, and produce some ill effect; yet being to desirous to goe as far as possible for the relief of the unhappy old Frenchman, they therefore past it with a clause to suspend the execution of it till H.M. pleasure shou'd be known, as the Govrs. 16th Instruction directs. But the Assembly have always refus'd to submit to it, tho' the most just and reasonable that ever was fram'd, and so it dropt. They were then adjourn'd till June; It was only an adjournment to give leave to a Committee to sit to inspect their Laws, now near expiring, and report what Laws of England are proper to be declar'd in force here. When they come to consider it, they will be sensible of the difficulty of the undertaking, and I doubt not, no man has either leisure or capacity equal to such a task; since I perceive, the Governor has writ to the Lds. Commissrs. upon that head, I will beg leave to offer my thoughts. All pleas of the Crown, all criminal causes, all causes relating to King's Peace, have always in this Island been heard, tried and adjudg'd according to the Laws of England; And likewise all Civil causes, all Common Pleas (except in some very few points, in which the Laws of this Island have made provision) have been determin'd according to the same Laws, tho' often for want of knowledge both in the Bench and Bar, those Laws are wretchedly misconstrued and perverted. If upon the re-enacting of our own Laws; H.M. wou'd be graciously pleasd to allow us some of the latter Statutes, wch. have been doubted, as particularly the Habeas Corpus Act, and the Statute of Frauds, and likewise that all causes as well criminal as civil hereafter to arise, shall be heard, tried and adjudg'd according to the Laws of England, as they have been us'd in the Island; it is all we can expect or desire; and at the same time I propose, that this shou'd be granted upon express condition of making H.M. Revenue equal to the annual charge, and of subjecting their lands or at least the produce of them to ye payment of debts, the want of wch. is both a discredit to the Isld., and a discouragemt. to trade. But while our Assemblys shew such disregard to the King's Instructions, while they assume greater powers and priviledges than were ever exercisd. by a House of Commons, and wch. I suspect they wou'd have understood by the Laws of England; and while they continue to talk in the stile of the Governor's letter, that they insist upon such matters, I very much fear these are favours we are never like to obtain. Signed, Tho. Bernard. Endorsed, Recd. 10th May. Read 2nd Nov., 1720. 11¾ pp. [C.O. 137, 13. No. 41.]
Feb. 5.
549. Mr. Popple to Mr. Attorney General. The Lords Commissioners of Trade desire your opinion whether by enclosed clause in their Commission, they are sufficiently impowered to administer an oath upon examinations that may come before them. Mem. a like lre. was writ to Mr. Sollr. Genl. and Mr. West. [C.O. 389, 37. p. 171.]
Feb. 5.
550. Mr. Popple to Dudley Woodbridge. The Council of Trade and Plantations desire an accot. in writing whether a Spanish sloop did in Dec. 1718 unload at Barbados, and how long she stayed etc. [C.O. 29, 14. p. 58.]
Feb. 6. 551. Mr. Woodbridge to Mr. Popple. Reply to preceding. The Mary sloop commanded by Dn. Pablo Planes, a Spaniard, owned by the Spanish Secretary of Cumana (a town on the Spanish coast to leward of Barbados) and man'd with Spanish sailors, did arrive in Barbados, on 18th Dec. etc. The master sold his cargo etc., and told me he was directed to enter and clear at the Secretary's Office but at none of the rest etc. Signed, Dudley Woodbridge. Endorsed, Recd. Read 9th Feb., 1719/20. 3 pp. [C.O. 28, 15. No. 71.]
Feb. 6. 552. Mr. Solicitor General. Reply to Feb. 5. I am of opinion that the clause in the Commission which is under the Great Seal does impower the Commissioners or any three of them to administer an oath to witnesses who shall come before them to be examined touching any matters mentioned in the Commission to which that power does relate. Signed, Wm. Thomson. Endorsed, Recd. 6th, Read 9th Feb., 1719/20. ½ p. [C.O. 388, 77. No. 72; and 389, 37. pp. 171, 172.]
Feb 7.
(? N.S.) Moon Castle, Havana.
553. Richard Farrill and Waiger Nicholson, prisoners at Havanna, to [the Governor of the Bahama Islands]. Since ours of 3rd inst. hath arrived Capt. Lagee who lately cruized off of Carolina and Florida and brought with him about 22 English prisoners. The officers have been very curious to informe themselves by him of the strength of yor. Governmt. and Carolina and he doth represent them so very defenceless that its already currently talked their armamt. will attack one of them in case the news from Pensicola does not encourage further progress for that place of which they are momently expecting notice by the sloop we advised they had sent for that purpose etc. As their ships are now all in a readiness so very little time will be required before they may go under saile to prosecute their resolutions and shod. it be for any of the English Dominions no doubt but that so soon as 'tis resolved on all our Englishmen will be confin'd so that we have not the opportunity to acquaint you. We therefore think it our duty to add these their new agitations for yor. precaution and pray you'll likewise please to informe the Govr. of Carolina etc. Wee are not without hopes that the escape of this bearer will be as effectuall to terrify them as was Mr. Walker's last yeare etc. We are told they won't be able to make above 1200 in all so that they won't spare above 100 to execute the function since many of the ships won't enter yor. harbour and those that do pray God avert their success, etc. Feb. 19th. The badness of the weather detained the foregoing etc. Yesterday arrived the expected sloop from Pansicola wth. notice that the French have burned their houses and are retired to Mobille and that all their great ships are gone for Europe. Whereupon instead of proceeding with the aforesd. armamt. for to take sd. place wee are informed they despise the attempt as being able to take it [? at] pleasure without resistance and therefore have listned to the aforesaid suggestions of Capt. Lagee and have accordingly determined to attack both yor. Government and Carolina. But know not which will be attempted first. The force they will be able to sett out with all will be:—The ship Prince 50 guns, Hercules 40, St. Joseph 36, 2 Barlovinto ships 14 and 24, the Herbert pink 18, St. Christo. 16. 5 or 6 sloops from 4 to 8 guns. The whole complemt. of men may be 1200 the most unexperienced raw fellows. They give out that they expect an invasion from Carolina for St. Augustine which they shall only goe to intercept at the mouth of said Harbour but this is only to colour their other designe as we beleive. We pray yor. Excellency to forward the enclosed for his Honour the Govr. of Carolina by all possible expedition here having been this day published a proclamacon for all these vessells to be under sail 3 days etc. Signed, Richd. Farrill, Waigr. Nicholson. Endorsed, Recd. (from Mr. Boon) 3rd May. Read 7th July, 1720. Copy. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 1265. No. 150.]
Feb. 8.
554. Mr. Secretary Craggs to the Governor of Barbados. Mr. John Pyott, jr., and Dr. Samuel Swinfern having mony due to them in right of their wives, daughters of Mr. Fretwell, you are to assist their agents John Frier and Charles Rider to obtain justice in this affair etc. Signed, J. Craggs. [C.O. 324, 33. pp. 264, 265.]