America and West Indies: July 1724, 11-12

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 34, 1724-1725. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1936.

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'America and West Indies: July 1724, 11-12', in Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 34, 1724-1725, (London, 1936) pp. 143-157. British History Online [accessed 19 April 2024]

July 1724, 11-12

July 11.
259. H.M. Warrant to Governor Shute for admitting Jotham Odiorne to the Council of New Hampshire. Countersigned, Holles Newcastle. Copy. [C.O. 324, 35. p. 74.]
July 12.
260. Governor Hart to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I had the honour to acquaint your Lordships of the 16th of May of my intended voyage to the Leeward Virgin Islands of this Government, which I accomplish'd in little more than three weeks, not without a great deal of danger in loosing the ship on the shoals there, but had the good fortune to return in safety to this Island, and brought up six French men with me, whom I gave passage to Martinique, and sent fourteen more, whilst I was at Leeward, from Tartola to St. Thomas's, at their own request; all of them belong'd to a French guarde coste that the pirates had lately taken off of Martinique, and after they had burnt the sloop these persons belong'd to, they sett them on shore on the Island of Sta. Cruix to shift for themselves in that uninhabited place. The first Island that I visited was Anguilla, which I found to be a poor and barren place, and the inhabitants in their houses cloathing and diet, bore all the marks of poverty, nor is it capable of any further improvement. The like may be said of Spanish Town, and upon inquiry how they came to settle those miserable islands, I found that the first inhabitants were such as had fled from Barbadoes, and the greater islands of this Government for debt, or to avoid the punishment of their crimes, and have since been increased by pirates, who have come in upon acts of Grace, and are married and settled there, whose posterity not knowing the world, remain there and cultivate the ground for a wretched subsistance; and yet on my arrival amongst them, I found a very fierce contention for property, and they having no form for Justice, I appointed six Justices of the peace, a Secretary and Provost Marshall, and have given Commissions to Officers of the Militia, to put them under some military discipline. Altho' I cou'd gett no possitive proof that the inhabitants of these Virgin Islands (especially at Tartola and Spanish Town) aid and assist the pirates, who frequently come amongst them; Yet there is a strong presumption, that they hold correspondence with them, and furnish them with provisions, which I shall endeavour to prevent for the future. The two largest of the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas and St. Johns, which have the richest soil and best harbours, are possessed by the subjects of the King of Denmark; This in my humble opinion is an incroachment upon H.M. Dominions, which I have taken the liberty to mention at large in my answer to your Lordships' twelfth Querie etc. Refers to encl. i. The present Governour [of St. Thomas] Mounsr. Thambsen, having answer'd my letter in the Danish language, which no person here can translate, I take the liberty of sending you the original for your Lordships' information. The Island of St. Johns having so safe and capacious a harbour, and so conveniently situated in case of a war, for the protection of the Jamaica trade and gives such advantages over that of the Spanish French to the West Indies, which of necessity from the Trade winds must go near that port; that I think it my duty to represent it, as a place of very great importance to H.M. Permit me, My Lords, to say, from my zeal for H.M. service, that I hope whilst he gloriously holds the ballance of Europe in an equal hand, no foreign Prince will be suffer'd in this manner to possess any part of his Dominions, how remote soever from Great Britain. I humbly recommend this matter to your Lordships' consideration and hope you will lay it before H.M., that I may have the honour of receiving his commnads thereon, which if they may be for my repossessing the aforesaid Island of St. Johns; I can assure your Lordships, it will be easily done, without any expence to the Crown, only with the assistance of the men of war on this station, and two or three Companys of the Regiment, under the command of Colonel Lucas, in this Government. As to the inhabitants of St. John's they have given me secret and strong assurances, that when ever I appear with a force to protect them, they will all become leige men to H.M., and as to the fort, it is only garrison'd by thirty men, so that they wou'd be easily reduc'd. Refers to inclosed answer to their Queries, (v Encl. viii.) Continues:—Tho' some of those answers are in the stile of a letter, yet as it is to render the state of these Islands more compleat at one view, I hope the method will not be unacceptable, and that the whole will find your favourable approbation etc. A sloop belonging to His Grace the Duke of Montagu, was sent down to Crab Island to cut wood; and ten of the crew being sent ashore for that purpose, the Spaniards from Porto Rico fell upon them and wounded some, and all the ten being taken were carry'd prisoners to that Island; But the Governor there disavowing the action, as done without his orders, has sent me up two of the before mention'd men; I have demanded the remainder, but as they are loose and vagrant persons, and servants for term of years, I am apprehensive they will be perverted to the Romish religion, and in such case, the priests protect them beyond recovery. Encloses Minutes of Council and Assembly of Nevis, "together with their Addresses to me, relating to a dispute between them, on the Council's denying the Assembly a Conferrence upon a tax bill; upon which the Assembly contrary to H.M. commands in my Commission, adjourn'd themselves from day to day, without takeing any notice of the President and Council. Upon weighing this matter, I found the Council made a dangerous step by denying a conferrence, and the Assembly advanced beyond their duty in presuming to adjourn themselves in the manner they did. To allay these unreasonable resentments on both sides; I thought it advisable to disolve the Assembly, and at the same time to give my sentiments of the misconduct on both sides in a letter to the President and Council" etc. Refers to enclosure. Continues:—As the Island of Nevis has but very few inhabitants upon it, and those so contentious in their nature, I am in duty bound once more to represent to your Lordships, that I know of no means so effectual to make them more dutifull to H.M., beneficial to trade, and to promote their own good, than joyning the Council and Assembly of that Island, with the good people of this of St. Christophers, whose peaceable and industrious dispositions, wou'd happily qualify the others distemper'd humours. I have issued writs for the election of a new Assembly at Nevis to meet on the 20th instant. I have not further to observe to your Lordships, than that the effects of the several hurricanes last year, has made the crops of sugar very short in all these Islands. But the seasons are now so favourable that there are prospects of great increase next year, provided they have not the misfortune of another hurricane this season. Signed, Jo. Hart. Endorsed, Recd. 21st Sept., Read 1st Oct., 1724. 7 pp. Enclosed,
260. i. Governor Hart to Lord Carteret. St. Christophers, 24th May, 1722. [Pursuant to my 84th Instruction for asserting H.M. right to the Virgin Islands] immeadiately upon my arrival on the Island of St. Christophers I made enquiry whether the subjects of any foreign State had possessed themselves of any of the Virgin Islands within this Government, and found that the subjects of the King of Denmark, under the command of his Governour of the Island of St. Thomas had settled several families on the Island of St. John's about four years past, and had erected a fort at the entrance of the harbour, and fortifyed a considerable town at the upper end of the Bay commonly called Crawley Bay, the draft of which is here represented to your Lordship. H.M.S. the Hector under the command of Capt. Brand going in quest of the pyrates among the Virgin Islands upon advice that I had given him of their being there; I laid hold of that occasion to write to the Governour of St. Thomas for the King of Denmark, to reclaim the Island of St. Johns etc. Refers to enclosures ii. and iii. Your Lordship will find by that letter that he refuses to withdraw the subjects of the King of Denmark from St. Johns, and as I am commanded by my Instructions to inform H.M. with all convenient speed in such an event, so I only wait H.M. commands before I proceed further. But if it should be H.M. pleasure that I should dispossess the Danes by force I am perswaded it may be done without any charge to H.M., by the assistance of his troops that are here, the men of war on this station and the rest of the Expedition will be effected at the charge of the inhabitants of these Islands who show a very chearfull disposision towards it. The Island of St. Johns lyes in the latitude 17 1/2 and is about 7 leagues long 30 leagues to the N.W. of St. Christophers and as your Lordship may perceive by the draft has the finest harbour in the West Indies, and the only one besides (in possession of the English) from Antigua to Porto Rico is that of St. Thomas also in possession of the Danes, which if they are permitted to retain, all our trade to Jamaica and all our homeward bound trade from the Leeward Islands have no place of safety to put into in case of stress of weather or any other danger. In time of war the Dane[s] act as neuter in these seas and receive the ships of all foreign Nations, by which means our trade was greatly annoyed during the late war by St. Thomas's being a free port. The King of Denmark has no right nor pretention to the Island of St. Thomas's and St. John's but by permission of the Crown of Great Britain, and I cannot help observing that they were ever suffered at all to settle at St. Thomas's, but that their taking possession in that manner of the Island of St. John's is a matter of so great consequence that I am surprized the Ministry were not earlier inform'd of it, for in my humble opinion these two Islands are of as great moment for the preservation of the West India trade as the town of Gibraltar and Port Mahon are to that of the Levant. Should the Danes be permitted to keep possession a much longer time (which would give them a better title) I am jealous for the honour of Great Britain that either of these Islands or both might be sold either to the French or Dutch, which in case of a war with either would greatly distress our trade to the West Indies, and of what consequence that is to Great Britain your Lordship is so well inform'd that I need not enlarge on that subject. In the whole I must humbly, but earnestly beg that your Lordship will take this into your consideration for that I am apprehensive that upon the demand I have made the Dane knowing the consequence of the Island of St. Johns will fortifye it so as to make it an expensive undertaking to reduce it; But if I have the good fortune to be honoured with H.M. commands to reduce it soon, I can promise your Lordship to effect it without any considerable loss. Signed, John Hart. Endorsed, Recd. 21st Sept., 1724. Copy. 6 pp.
260. ii. Governor Hart to the [late] Governor of St. Thomas. St. Christophers, 1st May, 1722. Calls upon him instantly to withdraw the subjects of the King of Denmark who have setled on the Island of St. Johns de Porto Rico and erected a fortification thereon, the said Island undoubtedly appertaining to the Crown of Great Britain, and to restore it peaceably into the possession of Ellis Brand, Esq., Commander of H.M.S. Hector. "In case of your refusall, I am not to be answerable for the consequences. Having it further in command from His Britanick Majesty to signifye to you that the King of Denmark hath no right to St. Thomas's itself," etc. Signed, John Hart. Same endorsement. 2 pp.
260. iii. Governor Hart to Otto Jacob Thambsen (Thombsen) Governor of St. Thomas. Spanish Town, 6th June, 1724. After compliments, continues:—Your predecessor has entered upon the Island of St. Johns and fortifyed it and setled the same and detains it in a hostile manner notwithstanding he was advised to the contrary by me etc. Demands its immediate evacuation etc. as in preceding. Signed, John Hart. Same endorsement. 2 3/4 pp.
260. iv. Governor of St. Thomas to Governor Hart. St. Thomas, 23rd May, (N.S.) 1722. Since my first arrival here, I regret to learn that Alexander Langdon has landed on Crab Island, by your Excellency's Orders, to take possession thereof, against which (taking the opportunity of the sd. Langdon's being in this harbour on his voyage thither) I have in the strongest manner protested, because of the pretension wch. my most gracious King has, from the first settlement of St, Thomas, to Crab Island and other Islands adjacent to St. Thomas. On which occasion I warned him in the most friendly manner to desist voluntarily from his intention in order to cause no breach of the friendship between the two Crowns etc. And since I understand that he has persisted in his undertaking, and has at this time possessed himself of Crab Island and planted thereon the flag of England, contrary to all the rights which my King has granted to my Lords and Masters, the Danish Company etc., I hope your Excellency will recall the order given to him and let drop all pretensions to Crab Island etc. Signed, O. J. Thambsen. Danish. 2 3/4 pp.
260.v. Translation of preceding. 4 3/4 pp. Same to Same. St. Thomas, 25th June, (N.S.) 1724. Acknowledges letter of 6th June. Continues: As to what you write concerning St. Johns, the King my Master has the same pretension to that Island as to St. Thomas and I am ordered to defend the same to the utmost of my power etc. Signed as preceding. Danish. 2 1/2 pp.
260. vii. Translation of preceding. 3 pp. Nos. iv–vii., endorsed, Recd. 21st Sept., 1724.
260. viii. Governor Hart's replies to Queries by the Board of Trade (v 27th March), (i) The trade of the Leeward Islands, particularly Antegoa, St. Christophers, Mountserrat, and Nevis consists principally in sugar, rum, molosses, cotton, ginger, and a small quantity of indigo, which agreeable to the Acts of trade are for the most part transported for Great Britain, except the greater quantity of their rum, and molosses, which is vended at the Brittish Plantations in North America. What indigo is made at Mountserrat, is by a clandestine trade sold to the French and carryed off to Guardeloupe. I know of no shiping that particularly belongs to the inhabitants of these Islands, tho' several of them do hold parts of ships; for the commodities mentioned are exported in ships the merchants send for consignments or in ships sent purposely for freight, of which great numbers come from New England, where they are built and afterwards exposed to sale in Great Britain. There are great numbers of sloops belonging to these Islands, which are sailed by the inhabitants. The best computation that can be made of the tonnage according to the register of all ships and vessels entering and clearing at the respective Custom Houses for seven years is per ann. at Antegoa, 9,000 tons; St. Christophers, 6000; Nevis, 4,000; Mountserrat, 2500. The Islands of Anguilla, Spanish Town, and Tartola have no trade nor shiping from Great Britain, nor no officers of the Customs amongst them. They have a few sloops of their own of small burthen. The manufacturies of these three Islands are sugar, molosses and cotton, of which they produce but very small quantities and those they generally dispose of to the Dutch at St. Eustatia, and the Danes at St. Thomas's for what necessarys they want, which are very triffling, the inhabitants living in a very poor condition. (ii) The British manufactures imported into these Islands, is computed at a medium of seven years to amount to £150,000 sterl. per ann., exclusive of beef, butter, pork, herrings, salmon and linnen from Ireland, which amounts to about £40,000 sterling per ann. The sorts of British manufactures are all manner of wareing apparell, linnens, household furniture, wrought plate, coppers, stills, iron and brass for their sugar and rum works, cottons for cloathing of negroes, all sorts of saddlers, cutlers and stationary wares, wines, beer, biscuit, pork, herrings, candles, soap, double refined sugar, cordage, canvas; in a word almost all the necessarys of life (these Islands affording very little within themselves for subsistance of the inhabitants) so that the British and Irish manufactures abovementioned are bartered in exchange for those of the growth here at 220 pounds this money (which is 1/3rd worse than sterling) for £100 prime cost in Great Britain and Ireland, out of which the merchant is to deduct his charges of freight etc. which is esteemed to be 10 per cent. (iii) The inhabitants have a considerable trade for mules to Curasso, and to La Guiara on the coast of Caracos upon the Spanish Continent, which they exchange for flower and other provisions with the Spaniards, to the very great hazard of loossing both their vessels and liberty; for if the Spaniards can master them (it being a clandestine trade) they make prize of their vessels and often send their persons to the mines. But as these voyages are very proffitable, and necessary for carrying on the sugar works by cattle mills, there are no want of adventurers. The inhabitants have very frequent trade with the French upon Martinique and Guardeloupe, where they carry provissions and often purchase the French sugars which are transported to Great Britain in British bottoms as the produce of H.M. Plantations, so that H.M. looseth the double dutys laid on foreign sugars to the great prejudice of the Revenue. The Island of St. Eustatia situated within two league of St. Christophers, is a barren spot of about 5 English miles in length belonging to the Dutch West India Company (where they have a factory) who annually send theither from 2 to 3000 negroes, the greatest part of which are disposed off to the French of Martinique and Guadeloupe; but the inhabitants of these Islands do trade with them for negroes and other merchandize, which they pay for in sugars or ready money, (the Dutch factors refusing bills of exchange) and these sugars are clandestinely sent them in the night, to the diminution of H.M. Revenue and the British Navigation. The inhabitants do likewise trade to Madeira for wines, for which the greatest part is paid in bills of exchange to London, or exchanged for negroes and provissions. They also trade to the coast of Africa for negroes, having small cargoes from Great Britain. But the most proffitable commodity sent thither is rum from these Islands, which is sold on the coast for 5s. sterling per gallon, tho' the first cost is not one shilling. There are some merchants here, who, after they have sent their sugars to Great Britain, order their ships to Holland and freight them there for these parts, first touching at and entering in some of the outports of Great Britain and then proceed with their cargoes to these Islands; and tho' there has been no material discoveries of an unfare way of tradeing, yet there is great grounds for suspicion that clandestine methods are used both in their exports and imports. I know of no other trade the inhabitants carry on to any other part of Europe, except Great Britain and Ireland, (iv) To prevent illegal trade, there is a Surveyor General of the Customs, and under him in Antegoa, a Collector, Comptroller, Searcher, and eight waiters. At St. Christophers, a Collector, Comptroler and four waiters, at Mountserrat a Collector and one waiter, at Nevis, a Collector and two waiters besides a Naval Officer in each Island. But notwithstanding these numbers of Officers, there is much clandestine trade carry'd on, there being so many landing places in all these Islands, and the officers of the Customs unprovided with sloops, or smacks to prevent the same. All which I have represented to H.M. Commissioners of Customs, and do not doubt upon your Lordships' recommendation, that honourable Board will apply speedy and proper remedies to this great and growing evil, (v.) The natural produce of these Islands are sugar, rum, molasses, cotton, ginger and a small quantity of indigo, which, when made up for a market, are the only manufactures of these Islands. These islands also produce great quantities of Indian, and Guinea corn, casada, potatoes, and other roots and plants, which serve for provissions for the poorer sort of people and negroes. (vi) There are not any mines in the four largest Islands; but in the Virgin Islands particularly at Tartola and Spanish Town, their has been lately discover'd some veins of copper. But for want of persons skilled in minerals, the value of them is not yet known, but supposed to be very considerable. I have taken the liberty to send your Lordships some peices that have been lately wash'd from the mountains, which, if your Lordships please to have an assay made thereof and think fit to open these mines, I shall very readily obey your commands. (vii) The annual produce of these Islands for exportation at a medium of seven years past, of which no true value can be made, because the price depends upon a forreign market is vizt.
Antegoa .. 12,000 4,000 850 200,000 200,000
St. Christophers 8,000 300 2,000 40,000
Nevis .. 5,000 150 1,500 20,000
Mountserrat 2,500 50 800 25,000 10,000
(viii) The number of inhabitants according to the nearest computation:—
Whites. Blacks.
Antegoa ... ... 5,200 19,800
St. Christophers ... ... 4,000 11,500
Nevis ... ... 1,100 6,000
Mountserrat ... ... 1,000 4,400
Anguilla ... ... 360 900
Spanish Town ... ... 340 650
Tartola ... ... 420 780
—— ——
12,420 44,030
(ix) The inhabitants of Antegoa are at present much the same in numbers, as they have been for many years past; the inhabitants of St. Christophers are of late very much increased, since the acquisition of the French lands. Most of the people who have settled the said French lands came from Nevis and Mountserrat, which is the reason that these two last are decreased in their numbers for 7 years past. (x) The number of the Militia are, Antegoa, 1400; St. Christophers, 1200; Nevis, 300; Mountserrat, 350; Anguilla, 85; Spanish Town, 78; Tartola, 100. Total, 3,513. (xi) Antegoa has been at a very great expence in erecting of forts and fortifications, tho' I cannot say they are in a condition to resist an enemy, who could land 3000 men. The principal fortification of that Island is Monks Hill, which is very strong by nature, being situated on a very high hill and contains about 8 acres of ground within a wall; having four large bastians with peices of cannon mounted thereon, with large and convenient cisterns of water, a very good magazine, containing about 800 arms in good order, and warlike stores in proportion; this fort is principally intended as a reception for the women and children and best effects of the inhabitants, in case of a sudden invasion, being not pregnable but by a formal seige. As Antegoa has more harbours and landing places than any of the other Islands, necessity has obliged the inhabitants to erect forts and batteries on them for their preservation. St. John's being a place of the greatest trade and most convenient harbour, has a fort erected at the mouth of it with 14 peices of cannon and within a mile is Fort Hamilton, which is but a battery of six cannon. Fort Byam near Parham 7 cannon; Willoughby Bay a battery, 5 cannon; Half Moon Bay a battery, 3 cannon; Falmouth Fort, 11 cannon; Old Road Battery, 9 cannon; Pearn's Point, 3 cannon without works. In St. Christophers is Brimstone Hill an eminence that rises in the form of a sugar loaf, accessible only in one place, by a difficult passage of six feet wide, and is crowned at the top with a noble fortification, which contains 42 acres of land, and has 42 large cannon mounted, with a magazine with 400 small arms and well supplyed with all necessarys for its defence, and has two large cisterns of water. This fortification is intended as a recepticle for the women and children, and most valuable effects of the inhabitants in case of sudden invasion, and is the compleatest work of the kind in the West Indies. At the foot of Brimstone Hill is scituated Charles Fort, joyning to the sea, which is the first that was built in this Island by the English; it contains about 2 acres of ground within the walls and is fortifyed with two large bastians, has 27 cannon mounted, and 3 unmounted fit for service, and other warlike stores in proportion. The rest of the forts at St. Christopher's are esteemed only as batteries to defend so many landing places and roads from pirates and privateers: Fort Hamilton, 5 cannon mounted; Queen Anns Fort, 3; Fort Smith, 5; Basse Terre fort, 11; Old Road fort, 12; Palmato point fort, 7. At Nevis there is one old ruined fort at the only road in it, that has 15 guns mounted, provided only with powder and ball. At Mountserrat is an old ruined battery of 7 guns, without any magazine, and I am sorry to represent to your Lordships, that neither my predecessors, or myself have been able to prevail with the inhabitants to put themselves in a better posture of defence, tho' they suffered so much by the last war, and lye yet more exposed in case of another. (xii) The French neighbouring Islands, Martinique and Guardeloupe, being very large are much superior in numbers to the islands of this Government, the number of the militia in those islands being computed at least 7000 men. The St. Eustatia and Sabia, both belonging to the Dutch, are very small barren islands and have few inhabitants. The Danes have possessed themselves of St. Thomas's, where they have built a good town with a regular fortification, and have an excellent harbour which the fort commands, this Port in the late war was neutral and most frequented by the French privateers, who lay there to intercept the Jamaica trade, and to infest all the Islands of this Government. The Danes have lately possessed themselves of St. John's etc. Refers to letter to Governor of St. Thomas (No. ii). Continues: The Governor answered in general terms, that having a commission for those Islands, he could not evacuate St. Johns without orders from the King of Denmark. Upon this I had the honour to pray Lord Carteret's Instructions (v No. i), which I never was so happy to receive, and as I am commanded by my Instructions, neither to commence war, nor make reprisalls on any of the neighbouring Governments, without H.M. special commands, this affair has rested as it is, till I was lately informed H.M. of Denmark had sent a new Governour, upon which I wrote to him and again claimed H.M. sovereignty to the Island of St. Johns, and also of St. Thomas's etc. Refers to encl. Nos. iii and vi. Continues: The Danish inhabitants upon St. Thomas's are computed at about 400 white persons, and upon St. Johns, 100. The Spaniards upon Porto Rico (one of the noblest islands in the West Indies for soil, wood and water) are computed at 25,000 persons, few of which are native Spaniards or decendants from them, but the gross of this number cheifly consists of mullatas, mesties, and free negroes, a rude and barbarous people. The Governour and the most civilized part resides in a large city cituated on an island within the harbour, fortified after the old Spanish manner and contains by computation about 6000 inhabitants. The harbour is large and commodious, very narrow at its entrance, and commanded by two castles. The next neighbours to this Government are the Spaniards on the coast of Caracos, who being situated so far to Leeward, are of no consequence in time of war. (xiii) The French settlements have ever since the Peace been very pernicious to the trade of these Islands, there being a very considerable number of ships and sloops that yearly trade with them from New England, New York and Penselvania, who exchange their loading (which generally consists of horses, boards, staves, hoops and flower etc.) for sugar, rum and molasses, with the French, and so return again without ever coming to any of H.M. islands to enter and clear. There has been also of late several vessels from Ireland, with provisions that have carry'd on the like trade, which is of so ill consequence that in very dry years, when the inhabitants of these Islands have been under the greatest necessitys for want of provissions, the French have been supply'd by ships and vessels belonging to Ireland and H.M. Plantations in North America etc. If Martinique and Guardeloupe were not subsisted by this illegal trade with provissions and materials for their sugar works, they could not support themselves there. But as this trade is carryed on by H.M. subjects, the French not only increase in numbers, but make such vast quantities of sugar (besides what they make at St. Domingo) that, that trade in these Islands is very much to be apprehended, will in time be greatly diminished. The proper measure for preventing these evils is humbly submitted to your Lordships. Martinique and Guardeloupe lying to windward of all the islands of this Government can make a decent upon them in one night's time, the trade winds always favouring them. These islands being distant from one another and fewer inhabitants etc. Since the acquisition of the French lands in St. Christophers that Island and Antegoa are capable of making a good defence, but Mountserrat and Nevis lye very open to the depredations of the French, etc. The best security these Islands can have, will be what Naval strength H.M. shall be pleased to afford them, which in my humble opinion can't be less than three ships of war, of 50, 40 and 30 guns, which at the same time they protect our own trade, will contribute to the distruction of the French. (xiv) The Revenue arising to the Crown is by a duty of 4 1/2 p.c. on all the produce of the growth of these Islands exported, appropriated for payment of Governors' salaries etc. The duty of 3s. 6d. per cwt. on sugars, and the duties on other commodities transported for Great Britain are payable at the respective Custom Houses there. The Casual Revenue, such as fines, forfitures, piratical goods etc. are collected by a Casual Receiver appointed by H.M. and accountable to the Lords of the Treasury. There is a duty in Antegoa of three halfpence per acre on all lands in that Island, laid by an Act of 1667, which is appropriated to the building of forts and fortifications and keeping the same in repair. There is also at Antegoa, Nevis, St. Christophers and Mountserrat a duty of one lb. of pistol powder per ton on all ships and vessels clearing, and is for the use of the fortifications and militia. This duty arises by the temporal laws made in these islands. There is likewise a perpetual duty on liquors at Antegoa amounting to about £1400 per ann., the gross of which is raised out of Madeira wines at 40s. per pipe, which is appropriated by the said Act towards defraying the public charges of the Island. The same duty on liquors amounts at St. Christophers to near £1200 per ann., at Mountserrat near £300. (xv) In Antegoa the inhabitants pay taxes for 55,000 acres of minurable land, all which has been granted by my predecessors, paying no quitrent to H.M. save only one ear of corn yearly, if demanded, and there remains no land unpatented. Mountserrat contains about 9000 acres, Nevis contains about 11,000 under the like circumstance. St. Christophers contains 22,000 acres. Cayan and Old Road, containing about 11,000 acres are granted by patent under the same tenure as the lands in Antegoa. Describes settlement of French quarter etc. v C.S.P. 1714 etc. Anguilla is near 15 leagues from St. Christophers, and is about 30 miles in length, and three in breadth, is a barren place and has never yet been survey'd, and the few inhabitants that have any grants from my predecessors or myself hold them by the same tenure as the people of Antegoa. Fifteen leagues to the westward of Anguilla, is Spanish Town, one of the Virgin Islands, about 3 leagues long and two in breadth, and the inhabitants hold by the same tenure as those of Anguilla. Three leagues to the westward of Spanish Town, lyes the Island of Tartola, under the same circumstances. There are great numbers of the lesser Virgin Islands that are uninhabitable, being small barren rocks. Fifteen leagues to the westward of Tartola lyes Crabb Island, being 7 leagues long and 3 broad. This is a noble and fertile Island and capable of producing anything that any other part of the West Indies doth: several attempts have been made to settle the same particularly by the inhabitants of the Virgin Islands, but they have been always cutt off or carryed away prisoners by the Spaniards of Porto Rico, from whence it is distant about five English miles; and as the Spanish Governors there, has order to kill and destroy all persons that shall attempt to settle the said Island, tho' this difficulty may be surmounted, yet I am apprehensive it would be impracticable to settle the same because the negroes would continually fly to the Spaniards for refuge, who give them their liberty in one year after they are baptis'd. The Island of Sta. Cruix lyes 10 leagues E. of Crabb Island, and is within the limitts of this Government. It was first posses'd by the English in 1649: and from 1657 to 1671 it was posses'd by the French who quitted it in 1671 and still lay claim to it, tho' it is now desolate. This Island is 12 leagues in length and 3 in breadth, and is computed to contain more land, and is a richer soil than Barbadoes, has four spacious harbours, and many convenient rivellets of water, and is a much finer island in all respects than what H.M. is posses'd in the Charibbee Islands, and has besides the reputation of having gold mines on the hills. (xvi) The ordinary expences of this Government are for the payment of the several Councils and Assemblys at their meetings which is 6s. per diem to each Member and also to their clerks etc. for the repairing of forts and payment of gunners etc., for the support of the poor, for the payment of negroes executed, which is a very large article, to the Marshall for maintaining of prisoners, salaries to the Treasurer and powder officers, to their Agents in London, etc., which by a computation at a medium of 7 years past amounts annually at Antegoa, £6,500; St. Christophers, £4,000; Nevis, £2,000; Mounserrat, £1500. The provission for the better support of the Commander in Cheif, which is during my Government only, is at St. Christophers £2,000 currant money per annum, att Mountserrat £500 per ann., Antegoa and Nevis having made no provission for my extraordinary expenses. The other extraordinary expences of this Government being casual, no certain computation can be made of them, but are annually provided for in the several tax acts etc. (xiii) States civil and military establishments. Signed, Jo. Hart. St. Christophers, 10th July, 1724. Endorsed, Recd. 21st Sept., Read 1st Oct., 1724. 31 1/2 pp.
260. ix. Journal of Assembly of Nevis, Charles Town, April 18th—May 7th, 1724. Endorsed, Recd. 21st Sept. 1724. 13 1/2 pp.
260. x. Minutes of Council of Nevis, 27th April—4th May, 1724. Same endorsement. 5 pp.
260. xi. Address and Remonstrance of the Assembly of Nevis to Governor Hart. 7th May, 1724. Complain of the proceeding of the Council in refusing to pass a tax bill, objecting that they were not consulted and joined in a Committee with the Assembly in raising and proportioning such tax etc. It is the undoubted right of the Commons to raise money, and that all subsidy bills should have their rise there etc. Signed, John Dasent, Speaker. Same endorsement. 1 large p.
260. xii. Address of the President and Council of Nevis to Governor Hart. 18th May, 1724. Claim the right to be consulted when a tax is to be raised, before a bill is presented by the Assembly etc. Signed, Richd. Abbott, John Richardson, Mich. Smith, Cha. Bridgwater, Michael Williams, Richd. Abbott, junr. Same endorsement. 1 large p.
260. xiii. Governor Hart's letter to the President and Council of Nevis, St. Christophers. 20th May, 1724. Regrets above misunderstanding. Concludes that the Council are not in right of preparing levy bills by joint Committee with the Assembly, but their refusing a Conference with the Assembly was a dangerous step towards dissolving the harmony between the Houses. The Assembly's adjourning themselves and meeting again is an invasion of the Prerogative. Decides to dissolve the Assembly. Signed, Jo. Hart. Same endorsement. Copy. 3 pp. [C.O. 152, 14. ff. 302–308v., 309v.–310v., 311v.–316, 318–319, 320–321, 322–323, 324, 325–340v, 341v.–348v., 349v.–352, 353v.–358.]