America and West Indies: April 1721

Pages 281-297

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 1721

April 1.
441. Council of Trade and Plantations to Lord Carteret. Encloseletter from Mr. Keen, and Memorial of inhabitants of Petty Harbour, 24th Dec., 1720, "relating to a wilfull murder committed there, that orders may be given for the prosecution of the malefactor who is now in Exeter gaol, and the Capt. who brought him over may be heard of at the New England coffee-house near the Royal Exchange. The great disorders complain'd of in the annexed memorial are a further reason with us for the giving all possible encouragement to engage the inhabitants of Newfoundland to remove to Nova Scotia or to some other of H.M. Colonies on the Containent of America, according to the opinion of this Board 19th Dec., 1718, and agreeable to the Instructions given by H.M. to His Governor of Nova Scotia for that purpose; for such inhabitants as do remain in Newfoundland after the return of the Fishery Fleet besides their disorderly way of living there do for the most part promote the trade and fishery of New England to the detriment of their Mother Kingdom." [C.O. 195, 7. pp. 76–78.]
April 3.
442. Lord Carteret to the Lt. Governor of Placentia. You are to comply with the terms of the enclosed Representation, in order to the putting a speedy and effectual end to the works of the new fort etc. Signed, Carteret. Annexed,
442. i. Board of Ordnance to the Master General [the Duke of Marlborough] Feb. 24, 1720/1. After several years sollicitations of the merchants loading to Newfoundland, to have forts erected for their defence, particularly at Placentia, promising to transport the materials thither for building at very easy rates, we did make an estimate for building a fort at that place, at £2500, which was granted by Parliament in 1718. But the fishing ships and traders instead of taking in these materials as ballast at 3 or 4 shillings per tun (as we had hopes given us) would scarcely be prevailed upon to take any, and those, that they did, cost us from 12 to 45s. pr. tun, insomuch that it was full two years before we could get a sufficient quantity transported, and send the artificers with necessary orders for going to work. Accordingly the work is begun, and altho' it appears upon making up the last year's account, that we have already exceeded by £1400 what was granted by Parliament, yet the materials and artificers, who are in constant pay, whilst there, being upon the spot, we think it will be a saving as well as an advantage to the publick to continue that work, and get the exceedings hereafter from Parliament, which will not be much more, than what's already abovementioned. As this place affords neither materials, artificers nor labourers, and the working season very short, yr. Grace will easily conceive the necessity of being effectually assisted by the Governor with soldiers for labourers at the usual rate paid by the Crown, who without his care and diligence to prevent it, will hire themselves to be employed in the Fishery preferable to this service. This small affair having already proved tedious and vexatious, as well as expensive, it will be necessary, the Commanding Officer should be strictly ordered not to employ or dispose of any part of the materials of the old Forts, it being intended they should be made use of in building the new one, and upon no account to employ any of the boats, nor suffer any of the soldiers to be employed but in this service directly, and it is to be wished that the settlers there may be kept in better order, for want of which our artificers etc. are spoiled with drink to the destruction of the service. If these articles are effectually complied with, we may soon expect to see this small work finished, otherwise it will be endless. Signed, T. White, John Armstrong, T. Wheate, Cha. Wills, M. Richards. Copy. [C.O. 324, 34. pp. 50–53.]
April 4.
St. James's.
443. H.M. Warrant for admitting Anthony Swymmer to the Council of Jamaica, in the room of Francis Rose decd. Countersigned, Carteret. Copy. [C.O. 324, 34. pp. 42, 43.]
April 4. 444. Earl of Harborough to [?the Council of Trade and Plantations]]. Recommends James Lawes to fill a vacancy in Council of Jamaica. Signed, Harborough. Endorsed, Recd. Read 4th April, 1721. ¼ p. [C.O. 137, 13. No. 47.]
April 5.
Salem in New England
445. Charles Blechynden to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Refers to letter of 20th Aug. last. Continues: The clandestine trade carried on in this countrey to Cape Breton with lumber, provisions, tobacco etc. brings from thence wine, brandy, linnens, silks, etc. not only of the growth and production of France but of Spain too. I have sevl. times laid these matters before our Surveyor Genl. as also Governor Shute who has for several sessions endeavoured to bring in a bill for prohibiting of trade to Cape Breton and which had twice the concurrence of H.M. Council: But was thrown out by the Representatives with this reason that here is Officers of H.M. Custom's and let them look to that affair. How impossible it is to prevent these illegal practices your Lordships may perceive by the following etc. These vessels that trades to Cape Breton goes under a pretence of fishing, and soe wee have no opportunity of meeting with them; for wee have above 400 vessels belonging to the Fishery and if we had 500 officers it would not prevent this trade; by reason of the largement of the country and the many harbours and creeks belonging to the same. If we had an Act of Parliament to oblidge the owners wth. the masters of every fishing vessel to give security, only to proceed upon their fishing voyage as also not to take in any prohibited goods at sea, or any place whatsomever it would be of great service etc. Signed, Chas. Blechynden, Collr. Surveyer and Navl. Officer. Endorsed, Recd. 5th, Read 8th June, 1721. Addressed. Postmark. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 868. ff. 49, 49v., 50v.]
April 6.
446. Mr. Popple to Mr. Carkesse. Encloses Instructions for Governor Lord Irwin, and enquires whether the Commissioners of Customs think any alterations necessary etc. [C.O. 29, 14. pp. 106, 107.]
April 12.
Middle Temple.
447. Mr. Newman to Mr. Popple. Encloses following. Signed, Henry Newman. Endorsed, Recd. 13th April, Read 7th Sept., 1721. 1p. Enclosed,
447. i. Answers to Queries relating to New Hampshire. (i) The situation of the Province is between the Massachusetts Bay and Province of Main etc. (ii) The N. bounds is Piscataqua River to the head of it at Quamphegon Falls and from thence a North line westwardly into the Main, the S. bounds is 3 miles N. of Merrimack River at the Atlantick Ocean from thence a West line into the Main parallel with the Massachusetts line. (iii) Constitution described. (iv) The trade is wholly lumber, fish and masts for the Royal Navy, the shipping about 20 sail of 50 to 100 tons besides fishing vessels etc. The trade is much decreased of late by reason of the poor price lumber bears in the West Indies, and little encouratement to send it to Great Britain, by reason of the high duty on it there. (v) The inhabitants depend wholly on Great Britain for woolens and linnens cordage canvas iron etc. to the value of about £40,000 pr. ann. (vi) Lumber and refuse fish are sent to the West Indies from whence for returns comes sugar, molasses, cotton wool, and rum, without some remitances for Great Britain. The merchantable fish is sent to Portugal and Spain, from whence comes nothing but salt for the Fishery the greatest part of the produce being remitted for payment of the British commodities. (vii) The method to prevent illegal trade is a preventing officer call'd a Collector whose care and vigilance has hitherto proved effectual. (viii) Lumber fish and masts with a small matter of tar and turpentine are the only produce and manufacture of this Province, tho' the soil is capable of bearing very good hemp and flax and making great quantities of tar and turpentine but seed is wanting for the first and men and skill for ye latter. (ix) There are no mines yet discovered except a small matter of iron which does not prove rich. (x) The annual produce of fish, lumber etc. is about £40,000. (xi) The number of inhabitants, about 9,000, of which 150 blacks. (xii) The number of inhabitants increase. (xiii) Militia, about 1500. (xiv) There is only one Fort, which mounts 42 great guns and that much not of repair, and poorly provided with stores especially poweder of which not above 20 barrels in stock. It is on New Castle Island at the entrance of piscataqua River where is a very good harbour capable of receiving a great number of ships of the greatest burthen. (xv) There are no Indian Settlements within this Province. (xvi) The nearest Indian Settlements are Nurridgwock and Penobscot, the one about 130 and the other about 150 miles from hence, whose strength is between 5 and 600 men. (xvii) The French Plantations in our neighbourhood are the country of Canada, and the late Settlement of Cape Breton etc. In all which vast country they have not above 1500 effective men and about 5000 souls. They have 30 companies as they love to reckon, but they don't make 12 men, one company with another. (xviii) The French Setlements have a very ill effect on these Provinces by continually instigating the Indians who are very numerous about Qucbeck against the English. (xix) The Revenue is about £100 per annum, and that from time to time appropriated by the Genearal Assembly towards support of governement. (xx) The ordinary expenses of this Government is about £1000 pr. annum in time of peace; in time of warr £2000 and more in case of expeditions which is rais'd by assessments on heads and estates. (xxi) There are neither civil nor military establishments. The General Assembly annually presents the Governour with about £200 who with the Lieutenant Governour. 51/8 pp. [C.O. 5, 868. ff. 111, 112–114v., 116v.]
April 12.
Admty office.
448. Mr. Burchett to Mr. Popple. H.M.S. Flambrough being under orders to return home from Carolina, asks for any proofs of the charges against the Captain. (v. 3rd and 17th Nov. 1720). Signed, J. Burchett. Endorsed, Recd. 14th, read 18th April, 1721. Addressed. 1p. [C.O. 5, 358. ff. 79, 80v.]
April 12.
449. Governor Hamilton to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses following, "believing at this juncture it will be of service to your Lordships" etc. There are several Acts and other papers which now lye before me to be transmitted to your Lordships. but the notice given me of this oppertunity from St. Christophers was too short for me to dispatch them etc. Signed, W. Hamilton. Endorsed, Recd. 5th June, Read 6th July, 1721. 2pp. Enclosed,
449. i. List of present possessors of the late French lands in the Basse Terre quarter of St. Christophers, with acreage. 3½ pp. Signed, Antho. Ravell. Endoresed, as preceding. 3½ pp. [C.O. 152, 13. ff.251, 251v., 252v.–255, 256, 256v.]
April 13.
Admiralty Office.
450. Mr. Burchett to Mr. Popple. Encloses following, transmitted to the Lords Commrs. of the Admiralty by Mr. Burniston. Signed, J. Burchett. Endorsed, Recd. 17th April, Read, 5th Sept., 1721. 1p. Enclosed,
450. i. Mr. Armstong to Mr. Burniston. Duplicate of Jan. 10.No. 1. q.v. [C.O. 5, 868. ff. 84–87, 88, 92v.]
April 14.
451. Order of Council. Referring to Committee of Council Representation of Board of Trade, 30th March, relating to the suspension of several Members of Council of Barbados. Signed,] Robert Hales. Endorsed, Recd. 2nd, Read 8th June, 1721. 1p. [C.O. 28, 17. ff. 124, 125v.]
April 15.
Leicester Fields
452. Robert Lowther to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Reply to Mr. Gordon's Memorial (v. 31st March). The Act depriving him of his benefice was passed in conformity with my Instructions etc. As to his character, there is the cloud of depositions by persons of the best distinction in the Island, entred in the Minutes of Council, 16th Feb., 1720. None of the facts contained in the said affidavits were controverted before the Lords of the Committee, or their Excellencys, nor none of the said depositions admitted to be read from the opposition made there by his Council etc., and he has offered nothing in confutation thereof. He served me with the Order of Council of 25th June, 1719, one the 29th Sept. and stayed till 12th Dec., but although he was told by the Judges that they would proceed upon said order and take depositions etc., he never proceeded thereupon but privately imbarked for England etc., and gave out that I contemned the Order etc. By these and other artifices he obtained a report in his favour. As to his commitment, it was grounded on an oath made by the Chief Collector of Customs for defamation. (v. Minutes of Council, 17th Feb., 1720). The pious divine in order to gratify his revenge dos not scruple to own his trading which is forbid by the Statute of the 21st of Hen. viii. ch. 13th, nor of corrupting the Custom-house officers, which is against ye statute of 13th and 14th Cha. II., ch. II., and which I communicated to H.M. Commissioners of Customs here. Yr. Lordships will also perceive by Mr. Meins deposition yt. treachery and false accusation are some of the ingredients in the case. As to the reflection he attempts to throw upon me by saying that he was committed by my private Secretary, Mr. Lenoir did not committ him as my private Secretary but as a Justice of Peace; he is deputed by a gentleman in England etc. The Act regulating the power of vestries was not made against him alone but against all that are wedded to human prospects, or should aim at pompe, power affluence of fortune etc. As to the assertion that no Minister keeps a curate but himself, Mr. Irvine has one etc. If it be true that he allows £200 to his curate, it is very extraordinary, but even so, he will then have £540 a year left for himself, instead of not one shilling, as he says, for his perquisites alone were always esteemed at £500 a year etc. Other objections answered. Quotes a complaint lodged in the Council Office against him for passing these and other laws by Sir Robert Davers, John Walter, Abell Alleyne, Thomas Pinder, William Walker and George Strode. Signed, Robt. Lowther. Endorsed, Recd. 20th, Read 21st April, 1721. 2½ pp. [C.O. 28, 17. ff. 79–81v.]
April 18.
453. Mr. Popple to Mr. Boon. Asks for proofs of his complaint against Capt. Hildersley (v. Nov. 17), he being under orders to return home etc. [C.O. 5, 400. p. 143.]
April 18.
454. Same to Mr. Burchett. In reply to 12th inst. refers to preceding. [C.O. 5, 400. p. 142.]
April 19.
455. Lord Carteret to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses following for their report with all convenient speed. Signed, Carteret. Endorsed, Recd. Read 28th April, 1721. ½ p. Enclosed,
455. i. Petition of the Co-partners for settling and improving the Bahama Island to the King. Petitioners have expended considerable sums in fortifying and defending said Islands, but further powers to act as a corporate power are absolutely requisite towards carrying on so great an undertaking, as likewise a power over persons employed by them, etc. especially in regard Governor Rogers has signify'd his intention to leave Providence in April, which may be attended with very fatal consequences, by leaving the Islands exposed to the Spanyards or Pyrates etc. unless timely prevented by an immediate assistance from hence. Pray that H.M. will grant them a Charter or Letters of Incorporation, etc. 1¼ pp. [C.O. 23, 1. Nos. 30, 30. i.]
April 19.
456. Lord Carteret to the Council of Trade and Plantations. H.M. having been pleased to appoint John Lord Belhaven to be Governor of Barbadoes, draughts of his Commission and Instructions are to be prepared etc. Signed, Carteret. Endorsed, Received 19th, Read 20th April, 1721. ½ p. [C.O. 28, 17. ff. 77, 78v.]
April 20.
457. Mr. Popple to Mr. Burchett. Mr. Boon has attended the Board of Trade, (v. 18th April) and declared that he has no other proofs than those I sent you 17th Nov. etc. [C.O. 5, 400. p. 144.]
April 20.
458. Council of Trade and Plantations to Lord Carteret. Enclose draft of Commission for Governor Lord Belhaven "in the usual form except that we have added by name the Island of Tobago" cf. 15th Feb. [C.O. 29, 14. pp. 107, 108.]
April 20.
459. Governor Sir N. Lawes to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I have lately reced. the honour of your Lordships letter of 27th Dec. last, and return your Lordships my sincere acknowledgments for the approbation which you are pleased so affectionately to express of my conduct whilst we were under just apprehensions of danger from the Spaniards etc. I have hitherto used all possible means in my power to send your Lordships punctually the severall accots. required by my Instructions. As to lists of inhabitants, refers to copy of Order sent 6th Dec. 1719. Continues:—Some of the officers did return me their lists, others acquainted me that it was impossible for them to do it, no Register being kept in most of the remote parishes but in my letter (6th Dec. 1719) I informed your Lordships that by the nearest computation I cou'd make the number of effective men fit to bear arms in the severall parishes were then near 3000, and I am of opinion at this time we are much about the same number. I am in great hopes from your Lordships recommendations H.M. will be induced to order us gunns for the defence of the new line at Port Royall, your Lordships are not insensible that the fund for the fortifycations is no more than £1250 pr. annum which is but just sufficient to keep them in repair, and the Crown has hitherto allways been pleased to send us such supplys of stores from the Ordnance as our necessity have required, and which I suppose the Board of Ordnance in accots. laid before the Parliament has been stated as an extra charge and allowed of as such by the House of Commons etc. Hopes the representation of the Board about logwood and the Bay of Campeche will have the desired effect etc. And I hope the Lords of the Treasury will have come to a determination on what you have been pleased to represent to them concerning H.M. proportion of seizures upon breaches of the Acts of Trade being applyed to the support of the Government here. I laid before the late Assembly what your Lordships wrote, 9th July, concerning the Act relateing to the trade to Hispaniola and I find by their Minutes a Bill was ordered to be brought in on that head; but like most other of their proceedings it came to nothing, so that I cannot really desire your Lordships to defer any longer laying your reasons before H.M. for the repeal of that Act, if the next Assembly (to whom I shall recommend it) thinks proper to pass another law not liable to your Lordships objections I shall lose no time in transmitting the same to you. In severall of my former letters I acquainted your Lordships I had recommended to the late Assembly a due compliance to the King's just commands, in favour of Lord Archibald Hamilton and the former Council and likewise sent you the resolutions the House had come to on that head, from which, notwithstanding all the perswasions I have used, could not get them to receed, as for my part I can do no more than pay due obedience to H.M. commands in ordering the mony to be paid out of his Revenue here which is at this time greatly in debt, and hardly able to pay my salary and other necessary contingencys, without which the Government here cannot subsist, and as the late Assembly came to a resolution that if the Receiver Generall discharged that debt of Lord Hamilton's theyd not reimburse the Treasury, I know not what farther steps to take for his Lordships service unless the next Assembly can be prevailed upon to whom I shall earnestly recommend it. I have recd. Mr. West's report relateing to two Acts, and shall endeavour all I can that no future law pass'd here shall be liable to the same objections, etc. Encloses Minutes of Council and Assembly. On 19th Jan. the [late] Assembly met according to adjournment etc. Refers to his Speech, "to which they returned Address of thanks." Continues:—Haveing soon after recd. some letters and other certain information of the good disposition the inhabitants of the Windward Virgin Islands were in to remove from thence and come and settle here, occasioned my sending on 25th Jan. a message to the House acquainting them therewith. The r[es]olutions they came to on my speech and the said message gave me great hopes that they'd have pass'd into laws those severall resolutions, but to my great concern the next day severall of the members did not attend the service of the House whereby they could not make sufficient number (fixt by their rules) to meet and adjourn, which laid a necessity on me to prorogue them by Proclamation, which I accordingly did till the 31st Jan., and then I renewed what I had recommended to them some days before. On 4th Feb. the Council and. Assembly haveing pass'd two bills, I gave my consent to them and are herewith transmitted vizt.: An Act to oblidge the inhabitants of this Island to provide themselves with a sufficient number of white people etc., and An Act for the releif of such persons as have suffer'd by piracy and roberys at sea or on shore by any of H.M. subjects of this Island. The first is much of the same nature with former Bills etc., and the usual provision is therein made for H.M. Independant Companys for twelve months longer; and I perswade myself your Lordships will think the latter a good law Mr. Bonfils and others haveing liberty to prosecute their severall claims. I therefore recommend it to your Lordships to be laid before H.M. for his Royall assent. After my assenting to the two above-mentioned Acts, I earnestly recommended to them the passing a law to invest in the Crown without any exceptions whatever, that whole tract of land from Pero Plantation in the Parish of St. Thomas in the East to the River Grandy in the Parish of St. Georges which said tract contains about 80,000 acres and whereon there is not one settlement made, and tho' all or most of that land has been patented upwards of forty years, yet till very lately no quit rents have been paid for any part of it. However when the House came to consider of such a bill I found private views and interest govern'd the majority, and tho' the Council and Assembly pass'd a bill with a plausible title I soon perceived upon my peruseing it that it would in no ways answer the end proposed, so many exceptions being made in it that I judged little more land thereby was put in the power of the Crown to dispose of, than what the King cou'd claim by virtue of severall laws of this country in force before their passing that bill vizt.: either by escheat or for non-payment of the quit rents. However I had resolved to give my consent to it had they given me an opportunity for so doing, this Bill pass'd the Council on Sat. 25th Feb. and the Assembly standing adjourned to the Monday following, I design'd then to have pass'd it; but the same accident happen'd as in page 20 of the Members not attending the service of the House, which oblidged me to prorogue them by Proclamation to 23rd March, at which time they met again etc. Refers to his speech to them. Continues: But I soon found they were come together with a disposition to make little or no alterations in the Bill, that heats and animositys together with private views had too great a sway over their reasons, so that I saw it was in vain to expect more good from this Assembly. I did therefore with the advice of the Council dissolve them, and writts are now issued out for calling a new Assembly to meet on 20th June. I cannot better express to your Lordships the great advantage 'twould be to this country to have those people fixt among us and of the proceedings of the Assembly and the cause of disolving them, than in the reasons set forth in the Proclamation incerted in the Minutes of Council etc. By my letter of 13th Nov. last you will have observed that I had then little hopes of the Assemblys reimbursing the Treasury, or supporting the honour and dignity of the Government with that duty they ought to pay to H.M. recommendation. I therefore hinted to your Lordships an expedient which would entirely put the Government here out of the dependance on Assemblys for supplys, and that was by an Act of Parliament to establish a Revenue equall to the annuall charge of the Government, which might be done by duely collecting of H.M. quit rents and adding the additionall duty bill to the Revenue Act, which together wou'd raise mony sufficient to defray all the extraordinary charges of the Government with the most ease I can think of to the inhabitants. I am perswaded from a view of the proceedings of the Assembly since that time your Lordships will be of opinion that this proposition is now become the more necessary to be put in practice, and should H.M. consent to this method, his subjects here have no reason to complain, they have only themselves to thank for it, since neither admonition nor recommendation cou'd prevail on them to support the Government. Encloses Receiver General's accots. to 29th Sept. last. The last half years have not yet been sworn to before me in Council, they shall therefore be transmitted by the next opportunity, etc. I find often great difficulty in getting a corum of the Council together, which in some measure proceeds from the great distance those Gentlemen live at from this town, and of others being indulged to stay in England while the King's service requires their attendance here. Collonel Rose is lately dead, John Ascough, and John Moore are now in England, and Mr. Samuell Moore goes in the next ships with a design never to return, so that there will be four vacancys. I formerly recommended William Nedham and Thomas Rose Esqrs. to whom I must now add Richard Elliston (who was formerly of the Council) and my son James Lawes to fill the four vacancys etc. They all live near at hand etc. Since my last severall pirates have been taken, tryed and executed, particularly the famous fellow name Vane, and I am told our adjacent Spanish Governors are grown more cautious in granting commissions to guard de la coasts especially since the country sloops have been cruiseing round about the Island. Signed, Nicholas Lawes. Endorsed, Recd. 6th, Read 28th July, 1721. 10 pp. Enclosed,
459. i. Accounts of H.M. Revenue of Jamaica, March-Sept., 1720–1721. Expenditure, £6237 14s. 1¾ d. Receipts, £10,246 7s. 2d. (including £8191 brought forward), Debts, £6855 2s. 7¾d. Signed, Richd. Mill, Receiver Genll. Deane Poyntz, Depty. Auditor. Same endorsement. 6 pp.
459. ii. Accounts of H.M. Fortifications to 29th Sept., 1720. Signed and endorsed as preceding. 2 pp. [C.O. 137, 13. Nos. 53, 53. i, ii.]
April 23.
460. Rev. William Gordon to Lord Carteret. Encloses following copies of papers which he had prepared and sent to Lord Townshend at his request about a month ago etc. Signed, W. Gordon. Holograph. 1 p. Enclosed,
460. i. Some thoughts concerning the Charibbee Islands, humbly offered to Lord Townshend etc. March 14, 1721. Insists upon the great importance of settling them. "In July last at the desire of the Board of Trade, I wrote their Lordps. a letter and stated the advantages and disadvantages of settling Sta. Lucia, and, about the same time, with Mr. Popple, but without mentioning my own name, gave reasons to my Lord Sunderland for setling Tobago" etc. Submits proposals for that purpose. Signed, W. Gordon. 2⅓ pp.
460. ii. Copy of letter from Rev. W. Gordon. to B. of T. about settling Sta. Lucia. July, 1720.
460. iii. Reasons offered [by Rev. W. Gordon] to Lord Sunderland for settling Tobago. (i) It will strengthen the British Colonys in the Charibee islands, which are at present very much inferior to the French, which grow daily incredibly in wealth and power etc. (ii) The soil is very proper for producing cocoa, arnatto and indigo. The British Colonys produce none of the two first commoditys, and but little of the last etc. (iii) By reason of its near neighbourhood to Venezuela or Peru, it will make us much more considerable in the eye of the Spaniard, and make it less advisable for them to come too slightly into any rupture with Britain etc. Copy. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 40. Nos. 2, 2. i–iii.]
[April 25.] 461. Petition of sundry merchants trading to New England to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Petitioners generally load their ships with cod-fish in return of their effects sent to N.E. But by a pernicious Act (for the better regulating the culling of fish) passed in the Assembly there in May, 1718, very prejudicial to trade in general etc., masters of our ships and our factors in that countrey are entirely deprived of chusing such fish as are fit for their purpose, being imposed upon by the cullers appointed there, who oblige them to take such fish as they think fit etc. It has been the practice in Newfoundland time out of mind, for the purchaser to cull his own fish. Pray that the Act may be repealed etc. Signed, Andrew Faneuil, and 22 others. Endorsed, Recd. Read 25th April, 1721. 1 p. Enclosed,
461. i. Abstract of Act referred to in preceding. ¾ p. [C.O. 5, 868. ff. 41, 42v.]
April 25.
St. James's.
462. Lord Carteret to the Council of Trade and Plantations. H.M. refers following to the Council of Trade and Plantations for their report. Signed, Carteret. Endorsed, Recd. 26th, Read 27th April, 1721. Subscribed under,
462. i. Petition of Anthony Cracherode to the King. By H.M. Letters Patent, 10th March, 1715, petitioner was appointed Chief Clerk, Register etc, in Chancery, Barbados. Appeals are frequently brought from judgments and decrees obtained in the Courts of Law and Chancery there to your Majesty and Council here, and to prevent the respondent's wasting the estate of the appellant recovered by such judgment or decree, pending such appeal, an Act of the Island was lately passed, appointing security to be given by appellees, staying execution until the appeal be finally determined, unless the party obtaining such judgment or decree should give bond with sufficient security in the Secretary's office in double the summe for which such judgment or decree should be had etc. Prays that this Act may not be confirmed, since the enacting this security bond to be given in the Secretary's Office is a diminution of the benefits granted to petitioner, and is dilatory and expensive to the inhabitants etc. Signed, A. Cracherode. 1½ pp. Enclosed,
462. ii. Reasons in support of preceding petition. Signed as preceding. 3 pp. [C.O. 28, 17. ff. 82–84, 85v.]
April 25.
463. Lt. Governor Bennett to the Council of Trade and Plantations. On the 16th and 26th Oct., 1718 I transmitted to your Lordships the same as is now inclosed relateing to the Council here, and did pray that H.M. pleasure therein might as soon as conveniently it could, be known, for that three of the eight surviveing members were Judges of Assise, who could not sit in the Court of Chancery on any appeal from the Common Law, and that there was but five remained which with myself just made the number appointed to hold a Chancery Court, and if any one of them should be absent a delay must follow, which has too often happen'd to the great grief of the country: and I now again for the reasons afore, presume to intreat your Lordships, to forward the list herein sent (concludeing the former has been intercepted or otherwise miscarried) that H.M. Council here may be filled up. Refers to enclosure ii. Continues:—It's computed one third of the white men are generally at sea, soe what number of men capeable to bare arms on occasion may easily be known; as for the negroes they can be of noe use till we come to close not haveing firearms but lances about six foot and a half long, which would be of service if it were to be depended on that the fellows would not give way till we came to club musket. The inclosed News paper I believe may be depended on having had repeated accounts to the same purpose, and I am further informed that the pirates used frequently to say in the hearing of their prisoners, that when they had doubled their complement of men they then had they knew where to goe; whether they had this country in their thoughts it's impossible for me to say, but formerly they sent me word by masters of vessells and others whom they have taken, that they would come hither and make this place a new Madagasca: I wish what I some time since humbly proposed of augmenting the number of men in the King's company here to 100, and another Independant Company of the like complement to be sent, had been adhered to, then this Island might reasonably have been said to be in security; and as for the consequence if this place were it in the hands of any sort of enemy to the Crown of Great Britain, I have often explain'd. If their intentions is hither, all necessary care and precautions are taken to prevent their design's, and hope we shall behave ourselves as becomes us on occasion etc. Signed, Ben. Bennett, Endorsed, Recd. 6th, Read 7th June, 1721. 1½ pp. Enclosed,
463. i. List of Council of Bermuda: Capt. John Tucker, discharged by his request July, 1713, Major Michael Burrows, deceased Jan., 1718, Capt. Benjamin Hinson, deceased, July, 1715, Capt. Thomas Brooke, Colo. John Trimingham, Samuel Sherlock, Lt. Col. Samuel Smith, Lt. Col. William Outerbridge, Capt. John Peasley, deceased, Oct. 1715, Capt. Leonard White, Major Henry Tucker, Colo. William Tucker. Recommended to supply vacancies:—Capt. Henry Tucker, of Port Royal parrish, of a very good character, and has one of the best estates in the country. Capt. John Jennings of the same parrish has for several years been a J.P. and of the Quorum, Speaker of the Assembly and has a very good estate. Capt. Richard Jennings of Harris's Bay parrish, has been a J.P. and of the Quorum for many years Chairman of the Quarter Sessions always behaved himself as became him and has a good estate. The Rev. Dr. Andrew Auchinleck, Minister of St. George's parrish, a very good man in his ministerial offices, of exemplary life and conversation and very well beloved. Signed, Ben. Bennett. Same endorsement. 1 p.
463. ii. Number of Inhabitants of the Bermuda Islands, 17th April, 1721. Totals:—Men on the Muster roll, 1078; men otherwise, 91; Women, 1596; boys, 1072; girls, 1013. Blacks; Men, 817, women 965; boys 880; girls, 852. Signed and endorsed as preceding, 1 p.
463. iii. News from Barbadoes, Antigua and Jamaica. Bermuda. Feb. 18, 1721, a pirate ship of 32 guns, comanded by one Jon. Roberts, and a brigantine of 18 with 350 men in both, had lately come up with a Dutch interloper of 30 guns and about 90 men as she lay at an anchor with her yards and top-masts down at Sta. Lucea. The pirates at first endeavoured to board her but she running out her booms or fenders prevented them, and then began to engage, the interloper mentaining an obstinate defence for four hours and killed a great many of the pirates, but being overpower'd was forced to submit and what men the pirates found alive on board they put to death after several cruel methods. The Dutch interloper has the character of a handsome warlike vessell and was extraordinary well fitted in every respect, in which the pirates have now 36 guns mounted: When the pirates had refitted after the battle, they went with their prize under Dutch colours close along the harbor's mouths on Martinique shoar, and made the usual signals that the Dutch interlopers were accustomed to doe to give notice to the inhabitants when they came off from the coast of Guiny with negroes, and then went again to Sta. Lucea the place for tradeing on such occasions with the interlopers. In two or three days several sloops were fitted out of Martinique and went down in order to purchase slaves which vessells the pirates secur'd as they came up and made them anchor by the ships as if they were actually tradeing; soe those that came latest in knew not the others were taken till they were sensible of their own misfortune, and by this way of manageing they took 14 sail of French sloops, in each of which was a considerable summe of money for that trade. The men they took they barbarously abused some they almost whip't to death others had their ears cut off others they fixed to the yard arms and fired at them as a mark and all their actions look'd like practiceing of cruelty, and at last they sunk and burnt 13 of the 14 sail and let the other return with the poor tormented men to Martinique to tell the storie. After this tragical scene was over they (the pirates) stretched along amongst the French Islands and passing by Guardalupa they saw a large ship at an anchor in the Road, which they cut out haveing 600 hogsheads of sugar on board, from thence they went to Domonico where they intended to carein as is supposed and what's further come of them is not known. From Jamaica March 31st. Several pirates have been lately taken and brought in here and on trial most of them found guilty and executed, among them Char. Vaine and one Racum, two notorious Comanders of pirate vessells suffered and died most profligate impudent villains. One Warner and his gang has been also tried and condemned but not yet executed. Leeward Islands, April 23rd. On 26th March Capt. Hingston Commander of a ship belonging to London in her way to Jamaica was taken about 4 leagues S. of Antigua by John Roberts Commander of a pirate ship of 42 guns and a briganteen of 18 with 262 white men and 50 negroes in both carryed to Burbuda, and there kept 5 or 6 days having in that time thrown over severall stills coppers saddles bails of dry goods etc. and stript their masts of some running rigging and sails and took forceably 12 of his sailors and then discharged him with his ship; The pirate ship had been a French man of war some small time before taken by Roberts in her way from Martinique to France with the Governor of Martinique on board who the pirates hanged at the yard arm etc. The pirate run on board the French ship in the night. On 2nd Aprill Hingston was again taken by a French pirate (one Nicholaus) Commander of a sloop of 6 gun and 63 men, three or four leagues to windward of Spanish Town, and the same day took a sloop belonging to Antigua and barbarously used the people on board her by cutting them with cutlasses and using severall other inhumanities, and having taken away the said sloops mainsail put the said Hingston and sloop's company with two boys on board her and dismissed them. Nicholaus belonged to Martinique from whence he run with the sloop some small time before. A sloop with 50 negroes commanded by a white person was lately run away with from Martinique on the pirating account as is supposed. A boat from St. Christopher's was also lately run away having on board 8 or 10 people who went to St. de Crux and there took a sloop with which they went to St. Thomas's under pretence of want of provision, and on the pretended master's shewing his clearings (which was the sloop's) the Governour asking his name found it disagreeable to the clearings and secured him which the people that remained on board understanding cut the cables and run away. Same endorsement. 2 pp. [C.O. 37, 10. Nos. 17, 17. i–iii.]
April 27.
464. Governor Hamilton to Mr. Delafaye. Immediately on receipt of your letter of 16 Aug. I offered Mr. Hill, upon his producing his power for the receiving pirate's goods, all assistance in my power, but have not heard from him since. Your letter of Oct. 6th came to my hand 23rd March, etc., I immediately communicated to H.M. Council of Antigua their Excellencies' Instruction relating to money bills. Signed, W. Hamilton. Endorsed, R. 23rd July. 2 pp. [C.O. 152, 42. No. 114.]
April 28. 465. Francis Whitworth, Secretary of Barbados, to the Council of Trade and Plantations. With reference to Anthony Cracherode's petition (v. 25th April), memorialist apprehends the method prescribed for appellees to give security is by the said Act well and properly directed to be in the Secretary's Office etc. Signed, Fras. Whitworth. Endorsed, Recd. 28th April, Read 22nd June, 1721. 1 p. [C.O. 28, 17. ff. 146, 147v.]
[April 28.] 466. Mr. Armstrong to Mr. Burniston. Duplicate of letter, Jan. 10. No. 1, but with addition of paragraph to the effect that New Hampshire has been found by experience capable of raising hemp fit for H.M. Navy. "To encourage its production the Government some years ago passed an Act of Assembly, that all merchantable hemp, the produce of this Province, brought into the Treasury should receive 12d. per lb. The inhabitants are stopped for lack of hemp seed, and about 200 have applied to me to lay their case before the Governmt. at home to supply them with about 100 bushels of seed by the first ship in the spring. This will divert them from going upon woollen manufactories" etc. Signed, Robt. Armstrong. Endorsed, Recd. 28th April, Read 5th Sept., 1721. Copy. 4 pp. [C.O. 5, 868. ff. 89–90v., 91v.]
April 29.
467. Mr. Young to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Refers to his chart and account of Canso etc. Prays to be recommended for the command of "one of the small vessells now building to intercept the smugglers" etc. Signed, B. Young. Endorsed, Recd. Read 4th May, 1721. Addressed. 1 p. [C.O. 217, 3. No. 21.]