America and West Indies: April 1720

Pages 21-36

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 32, 1720-1721. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1933.

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April 1720

April 1.
36. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Reply to 22nd March. Sir Charles Cox's petition is founded upon apprehension and not upon certain facts etc. As the Governor of Barbados by your Majesty's Instructions is particularly directed in what manner he is to conduct himself in ye suspension of Councillors, we do presume he will not take upon him to suspend Mr. Cox in such manner as may not be justify'd by the said Instructions etc. [C.O. 29, 14. pp. 70, 71.]
April 4.
Admiralty Office.
37. Mr. Burchett to Mr. Popple. H.M.S. St. Albans, Capt. Francis Percy, and a frigat of 20 guns being designed convoy to Newfoundland, asks for "Instructions and Heads of Enquiry for the Commadore as usual." Signed, J. Burchett. Endorsed, Recd. 4th, Read 5th April, 1720. Addressed. 1 p. [C.O. 194, 6. No. 82.]
April 6.
38. Mr. Popple to Mr. Burchett. Encloses following "usual heads of enquiry and instructions, with some variations and additions."
38. i. Heads of Enquiry relating to the Fishery and Trade of Newfoundland to be given by the Lords Commrs. of the Admiralty as Instructions for the Commadore of the Newfoundland Convoy. 1—18. You are to carry with you a copy of the Act to encourage the trade to Newfoundland for your own use and Government, and enquire whether the several rules, enumerated, therein contained for the advantageous management of the Fishery are duly observed etc., and return accounts accordingly. You are particularly to inform yourself (19) In what manner the inhabitants are subsisted, whether the country produces such provisions as they want, whether they have any number of cows, sheep and swine, or whether they receive any provisions from H.M. Plants. in America, of what sorts or kind, and the quantities thereof. (20) Whether they are wholly supply'd with sail cloth netts and tackle and woollen linnen leather etc. from this Kingdom, or whether they are furnished with any of the aforesaid necessarys from the Plantations, or from any foreign country. (21) What wages do the inhabitants allow to their servants, and in what manner do they pay them? (22) How much does the charge of fitting out and maintaining one of their fishing boats for the whole season amount to? (23) Whether the inhabitants have any other employment in the fishing season for their servants than taking and curing of fish, whether they are diligent therein; How many men they allow to each of their fishing boats, whether they can afford their fish as cheap as the fishing ships and the byboats, or what difference is made between the price of the one and the other? (24) In what manner they employ themselves and their servants after the fishing season is over and during the winter, whether they are industrious in providing and making necessarys for the next fishing season, or mispend a great part of their time in debaucherys and excesses. (25) Whether any trade is carried on for beaver and other furrs by the inhabitants, or by any others who remain in the country: what quantities they have taken this last winter, and whether they have any traffick with the Indians. (26) Whether the houses, buildings and enclosures of the inhabitants are at such a distance from the waterside as not to hinder or obstruct ye fishermen in making their flakes, or in drying and curing their fish. (27) Whether the inhabitants claim a right to all such stages cookrooms flakes etc., as they have made or built in those fishing places which have not been possess'd by the fishing ships since 1685, tho' they make no use of them, or whether such fishing places and conveniences are free for the public use of the fishing ships arriving there, and nothing insisted on or demanded by the said inhabitants for their use or hire. (28) How many flakes are allow'd to each fishing boat and of what length, whether they are extended in length according to the ancient custom from the shoar up into the land, or whether any of the inhabitants or fishermen extend their flakes along the shoar, or possess a larger front to the waterside according to the number of their boats than was formerly allowed. (29) Whether it was ever ascertain'd and determin'd in the several, or in any of the harbours of Newfoundland, what fishing places did belong to the fishing ships before 1685, and whether any account is kept of those fishing places, which they have been in possession of, since that year, in order to prevent such disputes as must otherwise very frequently happen between the masters of the said ships and the inhabitants. (30) Whether the fishing ships that proceed directly from this Kingdom to Newfoundland are victualled here, and provided with all other necessarys of British product and manufacture for ye whole voyage; or whether the masters or freighters do not furnish themselves with provisions, that are brought from the Plantats. or other parts to Newfoundland. (31) Whether any British ship arriving at St. Johns, or in any other harbour in Newfoundland, from France, Spain or Portugal, before any ship, that was clear'd from this Kingdom, has been at any time permitted to be Admiral of the Harbour: or whether according to the custom of Newfoundland, such ships only as are cleared from Great Britain, have a right to be Admirall. (32) Whether the Admirals, or any other ships who arrive early at St. Johns or in the other Harbours, do put their passengers, or any of them into possession of the most convenient, or of any other fishing places, stages etc. upon pretence that they are freighters of their ships, before the arrival of the other fishing ships, or before they are all provided. (33) Whether any of the byboat keepers who remain in the country during the winter, and that are not inhabitants, do retain to their own use, or for the use of themselves and their partners who are expected by the fishing ships the fishing places, stages, beeches, flakes etc. which they possessed the preceding year, or whether they take possession of any others, that may be more convenient for them, in the ensueing fishing season before the arrival of the fishing ships, or before the said ships are all supplied. (34) Whether any of the fishing ships pursue, or follow the old laudable custom, of allowing their ships companys, shares of what they make in the voyage, instead of wages, and in such case, how much doth the charges of fitting out and maintaining a ship of 100 tunns, with 50 men and 10 boats amount to for the whole voyage. (35) Whether any commoditys of the growth production or manufacture of Europe, that are not bonâ fide and without fraud laden and shipped in this Kingdom, be imported or brought into Newfoundland etc. (36) How these commoditys are disposed of, whether only to the Fishery, or by selling to the ships belonging to New England, and other Plantations, in order to supply the sd. Plantations with such commodities as they ought to have directly from Great Britain, and not otherwise. (37) What quantitys of rum and other Plantation goods are brought to Newfoundland, more especially of those enumerated in former Acts of Parliament etc.; whether any of these commoditys are sold to the ships bound to Spain etc., so as to make an indirect trade to those countrys in goods which ought not to be carried thither before they have been first landed in Great Britain. (38) In what manner do the merchants of New England carry on their trade at Newfoundland, what quantities of rum, molosses, wine, sugar, tobacco, flower and other provisions have they imported this year, to whom, at what prices do they sell their said goods, are they paid in fish, or in bills: if in fish, do they dispose of it again, or load it on the sack ships for Europe, and what value is it computed, that the goods sold by them may annually amount to. (39) How many taverns or public houses for entertainment in Newfoundland, or at least in the Harbour of St. Johns, are they kept only by the inhabitants, or by the byboat keepers, and the people of New England also; do they trust the fishermen upon their own credit, or do the masters of the ships and of the byboats permit them to trust their crews, and deduct the same out of their respective wages, hire or shares, in order to satisfy the said tavern-keepers: are not the poor seamen hereby tempted to spend the greatest part, or the full amounts of their wages and frequently to run so far in debt, that they are forced to remain as servants to the inhabitants, and at last constrained to be taken themselves to New England. (40) Whether the inhabitants do not usually trust their own servants with rum and other stores to a greater value, than their wages amount to: and whether they are not generally paid in this manner. (41) How much do the byboatmen and the inhabitants allow to the masters of the fishing ships for the passage of their servants, both out and home, in what manner do the said inhabitants pay the masters of the fishing ships for the same, and for the several necessarys they supply them with; and whether a considerable part of these debts is not secur'd, by suffering their seamen to run in debt to the inhabitants. (42) Whether this method of trusting the fishermen, is not the occasion of many thefts and disorders, are they not by their debaucherys often withdrawn from and rendered unfit for their labours, to the great discouragment and obstruction of the Fishery. (43) Whether the masters of the fishing ships and byboats do not connive at or encourage their men to remain in the land, that they may save the charge of carrying them home: what number of men do stay behind yearly and particularly last year. (44) Whether the New England traders do still continue to entice and carry thither numbers of handycraft men, seamen and fishermen, and whether any of ye inhabitants do favour or assist them therein. (45) And whereas this practice must be prevented if possible, you are to require all the masters of the New England ships and vessels who depart from Newfoundland before the convoy respectively to enter into obligations not to carry away any of the seamen etc. and all possible care must be taken to have those obligations so witnessed, that in case it be thought proper to put them in execution, they may not be invalidated for want of evidence. And you are likewise to be as strict as is practicable to oblige all such New England ships, as may be in Newfoundland, to sail from thence at the same time you shall leave the land, and to get all the proof that can be had of the breach of any obligations entered into as aforesaid and to transmit an account thereof to the Lords Commrs. for Trade and Plantations. (46) And whereas H.M. Consuls and the merchants residing in Portugal, Spain and Italy unanimously complain that by reason of the ill curing of the fish in Newfoundland, for some years past, the consumption thereof is considerably lessn'd and that the trade will be lost if effectual care be not taken to reform the same, you are therefore to command the Admirals of the Harbours, strictly to enjoin the masters of the fishing ships, the byboat-keepers and inhabitants to take the greatest care in curing their fish with good salt and with a sufficient quantity and in preparing husbanding and ordering the same, that the credit thereof may be again recovered, and that it may be well received and esteemed in the several places to which it is carried for sale, and as the said Admirals are obliged to have a watchfull eye upon such as are negligent herein, so they are to return to you the names of those who will not comply with this admonition. And further, you are upon this occasion very particularly to enquire into their manner and method of taking and curing their fish, what quantity of salt they allow for the curing every 100 quintals, whether they are guilty of any abuse in ye ordering thereof, whether the fish taken at a distance from the land by their small vessels is not prejudiced before it is brought on shoar, whether the inhabitants or the fishing ships, or the byboats keepers are most to be blamed, and in short, from whence these complaints arise, and what methods are to be taken to prevent or rectify whatsoever is amiss. (47) You are also to inquire into the present state of the French Fishery in Newfoundland, on the Bank, and on the coasts of Canada and Cape Breton; what number of ships, boats and men they imploy therein. (48) How many of the French inhabitants remain at St. Peters, Placentia etc. under pretence of taking the oaths and becoming subjects to H.M., whether they do strictly observe the Laws in force for the regulation of the Newfoundland Fishery, or whether some of them do not annually bring, not only their fishing tackle, but likewise their servants, fishermen, and all sorts of goods from France to the destruction of our Trade, and whether, when the fishing season is over, they do not send them to France again. And whereas this practice is not warranted by the late Treatys with France, you are to take especial care to prevent it by putting in execution ye Acts of Trade and Navigation and that relating to the Newfoundland Fishery. (49) Whereas likewise by the said Treatys with France, the French are not allowed to erect any buildings, besides stages and hutts necessary for drying of fish, nor to leave their boats during the winter at Petit Nore, you are therefore to inform yourself, whether the St. Malo men do assume this liberty, and whether any of the French come from Cape Breton or elsewhere, to hunt and fur in the winter at Newfoundland, for your better Instruction in this particular you have hereunto annexed copies of the Articles of the said Treaty etc., and you will inform yourself whether the French do contain themselves within the bounds thereby prescribed them. (50) You are further to inquire whether any of the Officers of the Garrisons at Placentia are concern'd directly or indirectly by themselves or others in the Fishery, or whether they take upon them to dispose of fishing rooms, beaches, stages etc. to any persons whatsoever, or hire out the soldiers to fish? (51) And whereas we are informed that George Skeffington has lately erected a Salmon Fishery in Fresh Water Bay, Ragged Harbour, Gander Bay, and Dog Creek between Cape Bonavista and Cape John, which may prove of advantage to Great Britain; it will be necessary that you give all due encouragement and protection to that undertaking, whereof you will inform yourself, and transmit the fullest account you can get of the same to the Lords Commrs. for Trade. [C.O. 195, 7. pp. 10–35.]
April 8. 39. Mr. Bridger to Mr. Popple. The interest of the Crown is grown so very low, and the Prorogative trampled on to that degree, that no good officer, or a lover of his King and country can be silent etc. The clause in the Charter of New England saves no trees but 24 in. diameter and upward. All the young trees may be cut at the pleasure of the people and tis at their choice whether ever they let a tree grow to be 24 in., wch. clause is the distruction rather then the preservation of the woods, there is an Act of Parliament and an Act of this Province that has the same clause in them, which must be repealed, for the small trees being in demand at home in Great Britain, the people cutts all these trees under 24 inches diameter and plead the Act for it, and I am obliged to be silent, the large trees they cut at pleasure without regard to Acts of Parliament the Royal lycense or my warrant etc. Quotes case of Mr. Cooke and the Agent of Mr. John Taylor, who bid him defiance etc. v. June 20. Encloses following for the prevention of all these evils etc. Signed, J. Bridger. Endorsed, Recd. 17th June, 1720. Read 5th Sept., 1721. 8 pp. Enclosed,
39. i. Heads of a Bill proposed for the better preserving H.M. just rights and title to the woods and H.M. Prerogative in the Plantations and to preserve the woods from the pretended claims of the people etc. v. preceding. Copy. 4 pp.
39. ii., iii. Copies of grants of land made to John Cotton, 1641, and Governor Leveret, 1671, by the Council of the Massachusetts Bay, etc., and orders of Council and Assembly, 31st Oct. 1710, granting petitions of Jno. Leveret and Elisha Cooke etc. for the laying out of the lands so granted for the heirs of above. Endorsed as preceding. 3 pp. [C.O. 5, 868. ff. 94–97v., 98v., 100–101v., 102v.–104v.]
April 8.
40. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Craggs. Reply to 23rd Feb. The places where the petitioner, Skeffington, has begun this Fishery, have never been frequented by any fishing ships from this Kingdom. And as he is the first who has attempted to sett up a salmon fishery there, and as the prayer of his petition is no ways inconsistant with the Act for encouraging the trade to Newfoundland, we humbly offer that H.M. grant him for 21 years the sole fishery for salmon in Freshwater Bay, Ragged Harbour, Gander Bay, and Dog Creek between Cape Bonavista and Cape John etc. and have liberty to cut timber for his own use in the parts adjacent to those rivers or creeks for the said fishery only, provided it be at six miles distance from the sea shoar. [C.O. 195, 7. pp. 36–38.]
April 9.
St. James's.
41. H.M. licence to Lt. Gov. Talmash to be absent from Montserrat for a further year. Countersigned, J. Craggs. [C.O. 324, 34. p. 1.]
April 12.
42. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Offer for H.M. confirmation Act of Antego, 1717, to enable Arthur Freeman and Dorothy his wife to sell a certain plantation etc. Quote Mr. West's opinion that the Act has all the saving clauses requisite. No objection has been made by any of the parties concerned, since the same was passed and transmitted etc. [C.O. 153, 13. pp. 455, 456.]
April 12.
43. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Craggs. Report upon petition of Capt. Evans, 14th Dec. 1719. Abstract. Petitioner being employed abroad in H.M. service could not avail himself of the offer of a reduction in his grant of lands in New York, when the Act was passed, 1708, for vacating extravagant grants etc. In consideration of his great services and of his having spent £3,000 on improving the said lands, recommend him for H.M. favour and an equivalent grant in some other part of H.M. Plantations. Set out, N.Y. Col. Docs. V. 535. [C.O. 5, 1124. pp. 128–131; and (corrected draft) 5, 1079. No. 114.]
April 13.
44. Rev. W. Gordon to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Upon reading the votes about making some amendmt. to the Act for regulating abuses in ye Customs, I lay the following observation before your Lordships etc. There is no Law now in being that after ye importation of ye produce or manufacture of forreign Colonies into our Colonies prevents the exportation to them to forreign ports etc. Instances, many hundred hhds. of French sugars imported to New York, Pensilvania and New England etc., and from thence exported directly to Holland. Mr. Worsam now in Gerard Street shew'd me an abstract from ye Custom House books of New York, of as much sugar exported to Holland in one yeare as would have paid the King above £1,000 duty. I have known several vessells go from Barbadoes and ye Leewards directly to Holland, Genoa, Leghorn and Venice, with loads of sugar, cocoa, indigo, fustick, lignum vitæ etc., some of which have fitted in Holland for Guinea, and 'tis to be fear'd others of them found means to remit their effects in European commodities directly to ye Colonies. A law preventing the exportation of the produce of forreign Colonies after importation to ours, to any place but Britain, would remedy all these evils. Signed, W. Gordon. Endorsed, Recd. Read 13th April, 1720. Addressed. 1½ pp. [C.O. 323, 8. No. 2.]
April 18 and 23. 45. Mr. Willard to Mr. Popple. Encloses Minutes of Assembly and Acts of the Massachusetts Bay for the session of Nov. 1719, and Minutes of Council to March 1st 1719, and copies of private Acts 1717–1718, as requested by the Board etc. Signed, Josiah Willard. Endorsed, Recd. 16th June, 1720, Read 8th June, 1721. 2 pp. Enclosed,
45. i. Receipt for above. Boston, April, 1720. Signed, Thomas Quin. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 868. ff. 57–58, 59 v.]
April 19.
46. Mr. Secretary Craggs to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Commissions and Instructions are to be prepared for Wm. Burnet Esq. appointed Governor of New York and New Jersey. Set out, N.Y. Col. Docs. V. 536. Signed, J. Craggs. Endorsed, Recd., Read 19th April, 1720. ¾ p. [C.O. 5, 1052. ff. 6,7 v; and 5, 1124. p. 132.]
April 20.
Nassau on New Providence.
47. Governor Rogers to the Council of Trade and Plantations. It's about 21 months since my arrival here etc., and I have yet no account from home what is or will be done for the preservation of this settlement. The ship Samuel who came with a gentleman as Factotum from the Copartners to know our circumstances and left us about ten months since wth. repeated full account of our miserable state, and a duplicate was soon after forwarded by Capt. Beauchamp, all which I am sorry has produced nothing for our relief. H.M.S. the Flamborough has happen'd to be here during the late Spanish invasion, and tho' the Captain is order'd to consult me for the security of ys. place yet notwithstanding our too evident danger 'twas with great difficulty that I and the Council here could prevaile with the Commander to stay till we had news from the Comadore Vernon from Jamaica, who came too late to prevent their first attempt on us. Refers to enclosure. But I hope he is now in ye way to stop their coming again with a better force. Few days past I sent a sloop to acquaint Comadore Vernon of the state of this settlemt. and that if he found the Spaniards was not come out and he was strong enough to block them up I wou'd leave this place as secure as I could and wait on him myself with about 300 men in some small vessells to make an attempt on them, which if it succeeds will deterr them from molesting us for some time and be a means for my getting wherwithall to supporting self and this place, for having no news of my bills being paid at home, I am forc'd to runn too much in debt and it's with great difficulty that I have hitherto supported myself and the garrison, so that be the consequence what it will I must adventure or the people that are about me will leave me and we shall starve or be a sacrifice to the Spaniards soon after they leave me. Enclos'd you have a copey of several informations that I have lately had of the progress of the French and I find the Spaniards are too weak to prevent them by sea, and 'tis much to be doubted they'll allso be the same by land, for the French are now I verily believe in a fair way of possessing the wealth of Mexico except they are by some means or other soon prevented, for unless we at home endeavour'd to follow the measures they do to share the Spanish Dominions in these parts, the Indians joyning wholly with them I fear will in less time then we are aware enable them to command all that's most valuable in these parts of the world, for I cannot forgett about ten years past how I found the Indians of Chili, Peru and Mexico on the coast of the So. Seas universally to hate the Spaniards, and some hundreds of them from different parts of the severall Provinces assur'd us that could they be supported and arm'd by any Europians especially English or French they could soon free themselves from ye slavery of the Spaniards being vastly superiour in number and now knowing the kind usuage the English and French gives all those that live amongst them, it's highly probable a designe of this kind wou'd succeed, for I am assur'd here the French will not find them of a different temper in these parts. A Spanish Father that I have now prisoner who seems to be a man of good sense and came the beginning of this month out of the Havana assures me that they are afraid of a Revolution in Mexico and that the Vice Roy will not be able to stop the progress of the French unless they have a Peace with France very soon. I have been at a great expence to support the people here under arms and to supply the garrison and arm'd vessells wth. proper necessarys for our defence, all which shall be transmitted home attested by the Council as soon as the embargo is off or we know ourselves out of danger of the enemy, the place is so wretchedly poor and having yet no assembly, I can by no means raise any part here and I beg your Lordships' intercession that the load may not lye on me who have sacrifis'd all I can raise here wth. all the pay and substance of the Independant Company or this place had never held till now in honest hands. I have wrote the Rt. Honble. Mr. Secretary Craggs to beg his intercession that I might have leave to go home to settle ye affairs of this neglected Colony and to answer whatever can be laid to my charge for it's a great mortification to me to be here on this foott and my character suffer beyond example so that unless the Colonys around us find me support'd I shall trifle away my life here to no purpose. I depend my appearing at home will either enable me to returne wth. more encouragemt. for myself and the Colony or if it must after all that I have suffer'd here be abandon'd, I may quit it with the character of an honest man that has done his duty which I am under no concern of making appear whenever I shall have the pleasure of waiting on your Lordships, and therefore I humbly request yr. Lordships interest if necessary, for my absence hence that if I deserve it I may return upon termes that will promote the future wellfare of this place. I hope the charge of the fortifications and guardship will not be thought too much, since by that means only we lately sav'd this place from the Enemy, and had they enter'd the port as we expect'd we was in a condition to give good account of them but it's happy for us that they came when we had plenty of provisions and almost double the number of men we had at any one time for a twelve month before. We are now encreas'd to above 600 men and shall keep an embargo and all ready till we have an answer from Comadore Vernon wch. we expect in about eight days. All the best men that liv'd at Elutheria and Harbour Island are here and I have taken the guns from the Fort at Harbour Island and we resolve to defend ourselves here, should Comadore Vernon unfortunately not see the Spaniards in their passage hither a few days will determine whether they come or not. Oh would all this danger, troubles and fateagues [? but give ?] me hope of a future reward here I should despise it but I must confesse I am throughly weary of living at the rate I have hitherto. But if I survive it I beg your Lordships' compassion, till I can wait on you etc. Signed, Woodes Rogers. Endorsed, Recd. 17th June, Read 7th July, 1720. 3½ pp. Enclosed,
47. i. Governor Rogers to [? Governor of Carolina.] Nassau. April 18, 1720. Encloses copies of following etc. Concludes:—A privateer has lately brought in two Fathers, the eldest of which is chief priest of St. Augustine and he assures me the Spanish armamt. next designed is most likely to come agt. you because the Govr. of St. Augustine has encouraged the Governour of the Havana to beleive the Indians may be engaged on their side, so that I heartily wish you may not be deceived by some of those you now depend upon. Signed, Woodes Rogers. Endorsed as preceding. Copy. 1 p.
47. ii. Capt. Hilderley to [? the Governor of Carolina,] Hambro' at Providence. Ap. 19, 1720. We have had advice of the Enemies designe to come a second time to attack this place from the Havana, which has been the reason of my stay here. I have sent a sloop to Capt. Vernon in the Mary a ship of 60 guns and with him another of 40 now cruising off the Havana to know of him if its his opinion he can prevent the enemies ships coming out or if there is any reason to expect them if his answer is agreable I shall not stay longer here etc. Signed, J. Hilderley. Same endorsement. Copy. 1 pp.
47. iii. (a) Richard Farrill and Wargent Nicholson to Governor Rogers. Moore Castle, Havana, 4th Aprill, 1720. Refer to letters sent on 9th February, "wch. we have the satisfaction to hear came early enough to enable you to provide for the arrivall of your enemy which sailed with an Armadilla from this place 21st Feb. but did not continue their resolucon of bringing their large ships because of the many hands they would require to guard them so that must very much lessen their intended compliment to land which their small number would not admit of etc. By a hard north wind so soon as they had entered the Gulph three small sloops were driven back to the Metanies. Per dayly advises for this week past we have the pleasure to know their absolute separation which they represent to have happen'd by a storm 2 hours after their coming to anchor on your coast and that the 3 ships lost their anchors so that they were necessitated to bear away nor have they yet any newse of the two bigest ships, vizt. the S. Joseph the Commadore, and the S. Christopher, for wch. reason the slops and brigantines have all returned, whether it was distress of weather or fear (wch. we are more apt to believe) etc. About 10 days past arrived here the Campanella which we formerly advised was concluded lost but it seems she has got into Campahy. She and another vessell brings the said Lewis men which was wracked near Campahy and likewise the mony which the Vice King ship'd for the raising the expedicon for Pansecola all thoughts of which being absolutely given over they'l both be at ye Gover.'s pleasure to employ. Now as here 3 or 4 ships of war new fitted in and all the small craft of the expedition as well as men return'd, so by the influence of the money the Governour will be able to frame a far more formidable force than the former and as the men of war hath of sailing in a few days for the coast of Carrucas yet we are privately advised they are forming a second expedition against yr. Governmt., and we observe that one of the sloops that are returned from ye coast have so much as unbent their sails etc. About 14 days since arrived news of the fall of Alberoni etc. This change of Ministry greatly affects our Governor who too justly apprehends the same fate unless he can do some distinguishing action to reinstate himself with the new Ministry before the Peace comes wch. confirms our apprehention of his invadeing you which shou'd it happen we expect 'twill be under the conduct of one Capt. Wahup (= ? Wauchope Ed.) a Scotch gentleman yt. went over with King James at his abdicacon. The Campanella will be obliged to be largely refitted, so that she may spare great part of her men, and they'l be able to make up near 2,000 men for the whole function. Had any of our cruisers but been on this coast they would have been able to have pickt. up the best part of these vessels that returned they have dropt in by one and two at a time. It seems one of them comanded by Diego Philippe carried out Napping who was taken with Capt. Bowling and put him ashore on St. Andrews Island, sending him off with his gunner and two negroes arm'd, and one of the three then shot Napping, the fire of the pistol being plainly seen by many of the sloop's company, but you'l judge the truth of this barbarity from his absence or arrival at Providence. We very much wonder none of our men of warr from Jamaica or England cruize on this harbour but hope now the season is becoming mild they won't omitt such advantage to both themselves and the Nation. Two fifty gun ships would be able at once to destroy all the force they are able to make from hence and suffer no traders to pass them etc. If the Governor of Jamaica could spare you two such ships 'twould infallibly secure your Governmt., the passing of the Jamaica fleet for Europe and be a great annoyance to enemys as well as profitable to the Commanders. The Spaniards have no other ships of force then what advised in our last so that they would be unable to receive such waite of mettall. Whether they go or not go agt. yor. Governmt. they'll certainly lay waite for sd. Jamaica fleet etc. As am writing this here's notice of an express from the Metanees with accot. that the aforesd. ships are both arrived in sd. port which if so the same Comadore will have the command of the Expedition on foot and here just now a Spanish vessell making for the port, either the St. Juan before concluded to be lost, or some other man of warr from La Vera Cruze to supply her place. You'll please to participate this to the Governour of Carolina etc. Signed, Richd. Farrill, Wargent Nicholson.
47. iii. (b) Notes on preceding, by Governor Rogers. Nassau, 18th April, 1720. Napping was murder'd, for his skull is brought hither and his bones buri'd by the Englishmen yt. was left on Andrew's Island, The Englishmen yt. escaped with this letter from the Havana in a canoa pass'd by the sd. two ships menconed by Mr. Farrill where they lay sunk etc. so that he is misadvis'd. The ship he took to be a man of warr prov'd a large merchants ship from the Gulph of Malleek and Campechy and the St. Juan man of warr was also lost etc. Signed, Woodes Rogers. The whole endorsed, Recd. 17th June, Read 7th July, 1720. 4½ pp.
47. iv. Capt. Vernon to Governor Rogers. Mary off of Cape Corientes on Cuba. March 24th, 1719/20. Sends this by Capt. White, a Bahama privateer etc. Continues:—I am in my way to lye about 12 leagues to the northward off of the Havana to prevent the enemy coming out etc. I have left orders with Capt. Whitworth in a ship of 40 guns to follow me as soon as possible etc. If the [Spanish squadron] should be already got out, I shall endeavour to take what further measures are in my power for yr. security, which you know coming to your Island is not, seeing ther's no draught of water for me, etc. Signed, Edwd. Vernon. Same endorsement. Copy. 1 p.
47. v. (a) Deposition of Thomas Messurer, of Guernsey. Nassau, 15th Feb. 1720. Taken prisoner with Capt. Hichinbottom of Jamaica, about 20 months ago, he was carried prisoner to Cartagena and the Havana etc. Reports on Spanish preparations to retake Pensecola etc. The French are preparing to march on the City of Mexico etc. the Indians supporting them. The Governor of Havana has detained a French flag of truce in order to prevent notice of the armament being prepared against Providence and Carolina etc. Signed, Thomas Messurer. (b) Deposition of Benjamin Johnson. 10th March, 1720. Partly confirms preceding.
(c) (d) Information given to Governor Rogers by Capt. John Cockrem, Samuel Vincent, Fra. Antonio de Escobar and Fra. Antonio Toledo, and Capt. William Williams, that the French design for the Bay of Mexico with 10,000 Indians, and the Spaniards had not force enough to prevent them etc. Signed, Woodes Rogers. The whole endorsed as preceding. 3¼ pp. [C.O. 23, 1. Nos. 23, 23. i.–v.]
April 27.
In New York.
48. Col. Schuyler to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Abstract. Has obeyed H.M. Order forbidding alterations in the magistracy and dissolution of Assembly, and has admitted Francis Harrison to Council and Cadwallader Colden as Surveyor of lands. The Assembly is adjourned till June. Asserts that he took care to avoid making alterations in the officers; those few that were made, he explained. (v. encl. i.) Reminds the Board that the Mayors of New York and Albany are annually appointed on 29th Sept. by the Governor or Commander in Chief. Continues: The Commissioners for Indian Affairs at Albany did lately send an account that one Joncure a French Interpreter and four or five more of that Nation had not onely been among the five Nations most part of the winter but had also found means to appointe some Sachins that favoured the French interest, and that he was gone from thence to divert or obstruct the farr Nations from coming to trade at Albany. As the consequences hereof are of the highest importance to H.M. interest among the five Nations, and our commerce with the other Indians, I have ordered two of the said Commissioners thither with propper presents attendance and instructions for setting the Indians right and rectifying those incroachments. etc. Set out, N.Y. Col. Docs. V. 537. Signed, Pr. Schuyler. Endorsed, Recd. 14th June, 1720, Read 18th Jan., 1720/1. Torn. 2 pp. Enclosed,
48. i. Extract of letter from Col. Schuyler to Governor Hunter. 31st Oct., 1719. As Dr. Johnson's private affairs and the sickness of Madam Wollocks, and other of his friends in the Jerseys frequently called him thither he could not well attend the Mayoralty of this Citty, for which reason I appointed Coll. Cortlandt in his stead, and continued Collo. Farmer in his post of Sherriff, and as Mr. Livingston of Albany desired to be excused from continuing longer Mayor of that Corporation, I appointed Major Myndert Schuyler to succeed him, and at the request of the magistrates there, made Mr. Gerret van Schaick Sherriff of that city and county, this being all the alterations made by me. Same endorsement. ½ p. [C.O. 5, 1052. ff. 116, 116v., 117v.–118v.]
April 27.
Councill Office.
49. Mr. Hales to Mr. Popple. The Lords of the Committee meet to-morrow to consider the petition of some officers for a grant of lands between Nova Scotia and New England. Asks that papers in the office requisite for proving the Crown's title thereto may be ready in case they are required. Signed, Robert Hales. Endorsed, Recd. 27th, Read 28th April, 1720. ¾ p. [C. O. 5, 867. No. 60.]
April 28.
50. Proclamation by Lt. Governor William Dummer. £100 reward for the discovery of the author of a "scandalous and seditious paper entituled An Order of Our Sovereign Lord the People"; In which the Regal style and Prerogative is in high contempt of His Majesty, and with an unparalleled boldness and presumption assumed by a private person, the Judges and Justices of this Province treated as servants and creatures of the populace, their just enquiries into the offences against the public peace aspersed and vilified, and they menaced in the execution of their office, etc. Signed, W. Dummer. A cutting from [? The Boston News Letter]. Printed. [C.O. 5, 868. f. 247.]
April 28.
Admiraty Office.
51. Mr. Burchett to Mr. Popple. Presses for Representation upon Admiralty Memorials (v. 6th Feb., 1719). Signed, J. Burchett. Endorsed, Recd. 29th April, Read 3rd May, 1720. 1 p. [C.O. 323, 8. No. 4].
April 28.
Custom ho. London.
52. Mr. Carkesse to Mr. Popple. The Commrs. of H.M. Customs desire a copy of report of 8th Nov., 1676, or any other papers relating to the farming the 4½ p.c. etc. Signed, Cha. Carkesse. Endorsed, Recd. 28th, Read 29th April, 1720. Addressed. 1 p. [C.O. 28, 15. No. 88.]
April 29.
53. Mr. Popple to Mr. Carkesse. Encloses paper desired in preceding. [C.O. 29, 14. pp. 73, 74.]
April 29.
54. Mr. Secretary Craggs to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The Representations referred to in following are to be laid before the House of Commons etc. Signed, J. Craggs. Endorsed, Recd. Read 29th April, 1720. 1 p. Enclosed,
54. i. Address of the House of Commons to the King praying that the Representations made to the Council of Trade and Plantations relating to waste of trees proper for masts in any of H.M. Plantations in America, since H.M. happy accession to the Throne, may be laid before the House. 26th April, 1720. ½ p. [C.O. 323, 8. Nos. 3, 3. i.]
April 30. 55. Thomas Tickell to Mr. Popple. Desires duplicate of Ap. 12th. Signed, Tho. Tickell. Endorsed, Recd. 30th April, Read 3rd May, 1720. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1052. ff. 8, 9v.]