America and West Indies: March 1724, 1-10

Pages 37-56

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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March 1724, 1-10

March 3.
70. Governor Worsley to Lord Carteret. Acknowledges letter of 3 ½0 Oct. Continues: Nothing can be so great a sattisfaction to any gentleman who has the honour to serve H.M., as H.M. approbation of his conduct; this must be particularly so to me, since my determination in relation to Mr. Cox, has been endeavour'd to be represented here as partial and arbitrary, even by one of the Counsellors, Mr. Lightfoot, as your Lordship will see by the inclosed paper. This indeed I then overlook't and took no notice of, considering it as a rash expression from a Gentleman who had been very much embark't in Mr. Cox's intrest, but he has since continued in the same strain, as your Lordship will see in the Minutes of Council of 31st Dec. 1723, herewith transmitted, in his 5th reason against the bill for paper credit, his words are these: "Because this paper mony now proposed is as I apprehend, enforced upon penaltys too severe for any other than an arbitrary Government." However as this Act had passed the Assembly with a nemine contradicente, and none of the Council had objected to it but this Gentleman, and as I took all the precaution imaginable it should not have its effect till approv'd and confirm'd by H.M.; I waved takeing any notice of it, till some days afterwards looking into the Acts of the Colony of New York I found one passed in 1715 etc., by which the currency of bills of credit were enforced there, upon the same, and much severer penaltys than this is, and finding H.M. had been graciously pleas'd to approve and confirme that Act; I thought it my duty to take notice of Mr. Lightfoot's objections another Council day; which I did the 22nd of Jan., 1723/4, by first having the clauses of the New York Act read in Council, and then I told Mr. Lightfoot, that I thought by his 5th objection, he charged H.M. with being arbitrary, but that I believ'd he was ignorant of there being such an Act, and the confirmation of it; and I did several times ask him, whether, nevertheless he still insisted that his dissent should be entred as his opinion, in the Council books; Mr. Lightfoot said that his dissent had been order'd to be enter'd in the Council books, and he insisted upon it, for that he looked upon his reasons to be very good, and that he had already sent them to four of H.M. privy Counsellors, in the number of whom were the Duke of Newcastle and the Earl of Berkley; Upon this consideration, tho' there was some debate whether he should be suspended or not, I would not suspend him, but only thought fitt to represent it to your Lordship to lay before H.M., to have his commands upon it etc. Refers to Minutes of Council. I have endeavour'd to the utmost of my power to avoid making complaints, and think I have overlook't very just grounds for such; for in January last Capt. Cooper forced a man from the shore and carried him on board H.M.S. the Lynn, for having given him ill language, where he kept him in irons about two nights and a day; when he sent him on shore; upon Captn. Cooper his coming to me and telling me he did not justify this action, but that the abuse he had receiv'd was so great, and no majestrate being in the way, in his heat he had order'd him on board, not meaning thereby any insult to the Government, for whom he had the greatest regard: I communicated it to the Council, who joyntly with me were willing to pass it over: Captn. Cooper tells me he is sent hither to attend the service of this Island, yet he refuses to communicate his instructions to me and the Council; however he tells me he is order'd to advise and consult with us, which I cannot allow of, till I know by what legal authority he is so to consult and advise; and the Council is of the same opinion: some days after, Capt. Cooper sent a letter by his Lieutenant, directed to me and the Honbles. the Members of H.M. Council; as I could not open it but in Council, I bid his Lieuten ant carry it to the Clerk of the Council, whose business it was to receive all papers that related to the Council, and afterwards I order'd my Secretary to tell Captn. Cooper the same, but as he sail'd from hence without sending any letter there, I acquainted the Council with what had passed upon this head, who were unanimously of opinion, that the Secretary should write to Captn. Cooper signifying, that if he was sent for the service of this Island, and did not think it proper, or conformable to his instructions, either to shew his instructions, or to write to me; that whatever he should write to the Governour and Members of the Council, in relation to that service, ought to be lodged with the Secretary, who being Clerk of the Council board, would take care to lay it before the Governour and Council: I should not have troubled your Lordship with a relation of this nature, was it not for the answer Captn. Cooper sent to the Secretary (encl.), which as it is in the nature of a complaint against me, I have the honour to represent the plain matter of fact in my owne justification etc. Refers to Minutes of Council 31st Dec, and encl. Continues:—H.M.S. the Salsbury, Captn. Samuel Brath-wait Commander, for want of provitions, having put in here on his way home from the East Indies; I order'd the Officers of H.M. customs to use the same dilligence as they did with H.M.S. Exeter; and they return'd me the inclosed certificates etc. Signed, Henry Worsley. Endorsed, Rd. 6th May. 7 pp. Enclosed,
70. i. (a) Certificate by Customhouse Officers, Barbados, that H.M.S. Salisbury carries only goods and liquor for her own use. 3rd March, 1723–(4). Signed. Hen. Lascelles, Collr., G. Maxwell, Searcher, Richd. Good-ricke.
(b) Receipt for goods received on board H.M.S. Salisbury, being salvage from the wrecks of the Chandois, Nightingale, and Addison, for the account of the East India Company. Signed, Saml. Brathwait. Barbados, 20th Feb., 1723/4. Copy. The whole, 2 pp.
70. ii. (a) Secretary of Barbados to Capt. Cooper. Secretary's Office, 28th Feb., 1723(4). Described in covering letter. Signed, Nicholas Hammond.
(b) Capt. Cooper to Mr. Hammond. Lynn in Carlile Bay, 29th Feb., 1723/4. Reply to preceding. Without the greatest indignity done to the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, I cannot consent to farther correspondence with H.E., till such time as I shall receive their Lordships' commands, having been obliged agreable to my Instructions to acquaint their Lordships that H.E. would not permit me to consult with him and the Council, and refused receiving a letter from me etc. Signed, F. Cooper. Copy. The whole, 1 ¼ pp.
70. iii. Mr. Lightfoot to Governor Worsley, 4th July, 1723. Complains that Mr. Fort and Samuel Palmer are trying to suborn his overseer to swear against him. Admits that at his own table he may have said that nothing could hurt Mr. Cox. if he had impartial justice etc. Has testimonials in his favour by leading men in England etc. Signed, Richd. Lightfoot. 1½ pp. [C.O. 28, 44. Nos. 67, 67 i–iii.]
March 3.
71. Governor Worsley to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Repeats preceding letter. Endorsed, Reed., Read 7th May, 1724. 7 pp. Enclosed,
71. i–iii. Duplicates of preceding enclosures i–iii. [C.O. 28, 18. ff. 64–68v., 69v.–70v., 71v.,–72v., 7v.]
March 4.
72. Mr. Popple to Mr. West. Encloses, for his opinion in point of law, Acts of New York, 1721, to impower Gilbert Livingston to sell certain land, etc., and for exempting Gilbert Livingston from paying £300 due from him for the Excise farmed by him. [C.O. 5, 1124. p. 331.]
March 5.
73. Mr. Burchett to Mr. Popple H.M.S. Argyle, Ludlow Castle and Solebay being designed convoy to Newfoundland this year, and Captain Bowler, Commander of the Argyle, being the Commodore, asks for Instructions and Heads of Enquiry for him etc. Signed, J. Burchett. Endorsed, Reed. 5th, Read 10th March, 1723/4. Addressed. 1 p. [C.O. 194, 7. ff. 217, 218v.]
March 4.
74. Governor the Duke of Portland to [?Lord Carteret]. Having in my last etc. mentioned my having been indisposed etc. I can with a good deal of satisfaction, now acquaint your Lordship, that I am perfectly recovered, and that I have ever since, used my best endeavours to promote everything for the service of H.M. subjects here, with a just regard to his commands, and the Instructions, I have received, but have been sorry to hear that two ships which sailed last April, by which I had sent several letters to England, and particularly, answers to things recommended to me by your Lordp., had fallen into the hands of pirates, and all the letters flung into the sea. Those ships having the reputation to be the best sailors, vizt. the African Packet and the Fellowship, had my letters on board and they depending upon their sailing, leaving the rest of their company had the misfortune to be rifled, when the rest, who kept together, all got home safe. What I sent then, was an answer to Mr. Coleman's petition, as also an answer to your Lordp's. letter, and the merchants' petition concerning the coin. I sent then also an Address of Thanks to H.M., from the Council, about the warlike stores, he was graciously pleased to order should be sent hither, and arrived safe here, which I send inclosed again, and also the opinions only of the Committee of Council to whom I had referr'd the consideration of Mr. Coleman's and the Merchants' Petition, not thinking it at all material to trouble your Lordp. with an entire copy of my lost letters. I acquainted your Lordp. then also upon what a dismal foot I found the publick credit, that all orders of Council which are here the only paper credit were commonly at 40 or 50 pr. ct. discount, and often more, the Treasury constantly without money, and an entire stop to all manner of publick business; the remissness, negligence, I may say abuse, in every part that related to Government can't well be described. Justice was likewise neglected, except where partiality got the better. I have with a good deal of application, which has been attended with many difficulties, overcome this. Credit is upon a good foot, orders of Council being at par, and the Treasury supply'd whereby a great part of the publick debts have been lessened, that of my Lord Archibald Hamilton's in particular, and hope the remainder will be clear'd in a short time. The accounts will shew that there has been received and paid more money since I have been here, than what has been for some considerable time before, and the inclosed paper concerning credit will shew your Lordp., what a tedious and troublesome piece of busyness this has been; As to my delay of Justice, I hope nobody can be uneasy since my arrival, having dispatched some time ago, all matters depending in Chancery before me, where I commonly sit every fortnight, and continue sitting day after day, till the Council at the Bar tell me they have no more busyness to offer. Refers to letter and papers concerning the behaviour of Capt. Laws, Commander of the Mermaid man of war etc. Continues: The behaviour of all the Capts. of men of war, from the first to the last, if strictly inquired into, is not to be justified. They put the Government at home to a vast unnecessary charge, in a most astonishing manner etc., and if they continue as they do now, will be the destruction of this Island, and if one seems to take the least notice of what they do, tho' it be the most irregular thing in the world, their answer is, that they are independant, equal to the King's Governours, and above the Council. They never will attend any Court of Admiralty, insisting to take place of everybody, which occasions great inconveniencies, and which the Council is not inclined to give up, their prior right being determined by the A ct which establishes that Court, and nominates all Counsellours and others before them. I would say more, but that it might look as if I had some private ends in representing this, but do declare upon all that is valuable that nothing but my regard for the publick service, obliges me not to conceal what one may venture to call so gross an abuse which will, and must be attended with many ill consequences. I don't pretend to say, how it should be rectified, but as it is now, it is not to be look'd at with any tollerable patience. Repeats his treatment of Capt. Laws etc. Continues:—Being at last prevailed upon by the repeated importunity of his friends, to write to me in a way of submission, having H.M. service in view, I immediately ordered him to be put at full liberty, and stop'd the prosecution the Council had begun against him. He is now returning home. I don't desire to have anything done against him, but hope, and must press it, that one may be protected from abuses, and wish the just foundation of what I have represented concerning the behaviour of the Captains of the men of war might be removed. I also send your Lordps. copys of the letters, concerning the pirate Cassandra. I cannot account for the behaviour of the man of war, it is surprising, that when the Cassandra came out of the place where she had lain, the man of war who had been in the very way, all the time, should just then, have altered her station; the whole management and transaction is something very inconsistent, what is most remarkable, is, that a brother of the Captain of the man of war, who was not any chief Officer on board, was the person entrusted with the negotiation, and always told the pirates, that nobody here could shew mercy, and that it was only the Captain of the man of war who was his brother that had it in his power. This proceeding gives ground to strange suggestions, and the reports about it have been very odd, but as it is not in my power to examine into it, and durst hardly speak of it, without drawing inconveniencies, upon me, all I can do at present is, to acquaint your Lordp. with as true a state of the case as I can, so that it may, if thought necessary, be examined into at home; It has been affirmed to me that the Captain who is Captn. Laws, has whilst here in port, kept some of his under officers whether gunner or boatswain, I can't well tell, in close confinement, and in irons on board his ship, for fear, that in case they came on shore they might tell stories; I have writ to the Governour of Panama concerning the pirate, (copy enclosed and his answer). But writing signifies little or nothing, particularly where their own private interest is affected; give me leave to offer it as my opinion, that without your Lordps. care at home, and insisting to have the subjects of England protected from the Spaniards and also the French in their Navigation, all writing here is to no effect, and the damage they do to ships coming from or going to England, and also to ships coming from Guinea is so considerable, that it deserves to have particular notice taken of it. There being a vacancy in the Council, and having been at a loss who to recommend, I think I am now under an obligation to represent to your Lordp. that a Gentleman is coming over, who I prevailed upon before I left England to resign his place in Council in favour of one Collo. Campbell who your Lordp. spoke to me about as being recommended by the Duke of Argyle and my Lord Ilay, etc. That gentleman whose name is Mr. Samuel Moore, being then undetermin'd whether he should return hither, consented to make room for Collo. Campbell, but as that Mr. Moore is returning, his affairs requiring his presence, he having been of the Council, resign'd only out of a complement, very well qualified for that post, and related to many of the top persons here, some of them in the Council, particularly his brother, and his brother in law, I think there can be no o bjection to his being restor'd, in the room of one Captn. Morant, who resign'd upon accot. of his age, and indispositions, and who since is dead. I hardly see how I can omitt making him that complimt. as soon as he arrives, without disobliging him, and his relations. If I can delay it, till I hear from your Lordp. I certainly will, but in case I find it is expected, not only from him, but his friends, and he being an unexceptionable person, I hope my restoring him again will be approved off, it being requisite here, to neglect no opportunity of distinguishing those, who are friends, and well affected; I must also intreat your Lordp. that none may be nominated but those whose names I shall transmit as soon as I can be satisfied that they are proper, those who were spoke off and recommended before I came away, have been strongest opposers of everything I have proposed for H.M. service. I was at a loss at the last prorogation of the Assembly here, having just then received H.M. letter with notice of the laws being rejected, whether it was proper for me to give my assent to some bills that had passed the Council, and Assembly, particularly one, that was a money bill, wherein they make an appropriation for the discharging several debts, and also to pay my additional salary. I pressed it home upon the Council, and at last the Attorney General was called in; It appears by the Council Minutes that they all thought it advisable, and particularly Mr. Attorney, for me, to give my assent to them, that the not passing of those bills being money bills would in the highest degree, expose, and distress the Government, and could find no reason that ought to weigh with me to make any objections or entertain the least scruples about them. I hope the caution I used, nor my behaviour will be dissaproved of. Since that time, the Assembly has met again, and all the time of their sitting, no pains or labour of mine has been wanting to make their proceedings as conformable as was possible to H.M. intentions, and according to my instructions; They have past a bill for perpetuating their laws, and making a provision for the support of the Government, and also one for giving me an additional salary with a fund to it. I try'd my interest, and made use of the best, and strongest arguments I was master off, that a draught of the bills should be sent over, or at least a clause inserted that they should not have any effect untill H.M. pleasure was signified, but all my management was in vain; They alledged, and objected the prejudice, and inconvenience such a precedent would lay them under, that the introduction of it might be attended with ill consequences, That if admitted or readily complyed with, it might be insisted upon, on other occasions; That their distance, considering what hazards, and dangers it might expose them to, was unanswerable; They are encouraged to support this argument by former proceedings, saying that it has been attempted before, and that the strength of their objection or reason, had always prevailed, however I flatter myself, and hope that I have paid all the obedience that could be to H.M. commands, and my Instructions, and have also supplyed the want of what I endeavoured for, by not giving my assent to those bills, and by transmitting them to know how they will be approved off at home, as also to be informed of H.M. sense and pleasure, I did likewise insist that the Council should give me their opinion in writing, upon some questions that might arise relating to those bills, of which I send your Lordp. also a copy. I have adjourned the Assembly for six months, and if the answers don't arrive by that time, shall continue to do so, to prevent the consequences of a prorogation which would be putting an end to those bills. I must own that I can't foresee any material objections to the bills, if any at all, but what may be easily answered; I must first take notice that there seems to be a small mistake or error in the stating at home the former Revenue, which is computed but at £4913, whereas by the examinations I have go ne through with a good deal of care, first by a medium of five years, then of seven and at last of ten, I find what was given to the Revenue to amot. to £5371. 12s. 7d. So that to support the annual expence which is computed at £8062 pr. ann. there is wanting £2691, for which they have made a full provision, by adding to the Revenue all the additional duty's, except that upon negroes, which dos amount to at least £1600 pr. ann., and to make good the remainder which is near £1100 pr. ann. have reduced the duty's upon the importation here of all sugars and indigo, which will by all the information of experienced people bring in much more to the publick, than the summ it is given for, it may be objected that so far as it relates to the French, it is a prohibited trade, and ought to be discouraged, it may also be said that it may perhaps be precarious; As to the first, the answer is plain, that there is nothing in this, that can be taken to favour the French, and that notwithstanding the strictest prohibitions by law, to stop that trade, no power has hitherto been able to prevent it, or can it in this Island; all the men in it not being sufficient to secure the many places they find to run it in. As to the precariousness of it, experience demonstrates, what vast quantities have at all times been exported from hence, without the least advantage to the Island, whereas, by making the duty lower than the charges they are at, in running, it will be a good support and branch of the Revenue, besides, it does not seem to me to be our interest to prevent it, whilst it is earned on in English vessels, or ships, it appears that we must be gainers by it, and that it is an encouragemt. to the English navigation hither, which otherwise might in time turn to the advantage of our neighbours, and prudence requires to prevent as much as possible their growing more considerable in these parts. They are but too much so already: I must further observe that there is in this Act several things towards the support of the Revenue, not taken notice of in the estimate, that will airways make good any deficiency, if it can possibly happen by the precariousness of the sugars, and indigo, and those are the better regulation introduc'd, as to the collecting the several duties rais'd by this Act; The taking away several drawbacks and exemptions formerly allow'd; and also as nothing paid heretofore, but what was enter'd by way of merchandise, and that under the notion of importation for private use, several abuses were introduced, this Bill allows of no distinction and all is equally to be paid for; There was also another abuse allowd of by an omission in the former Revenue Bill, that people might with impunity run their goods on shore, provided it was in the day time, which made the condemnation of seizures difficult. This is also rectify'd by making no distinction of time, and by this, the condemnation will be easy, and it will deter people from attempting to evade the duties; besides all this, if this bill is approved off, as now sent over, the Government will be so far independant of the people, who now one is oblig'd to court, having nothing in ones power to reward them, or to keep them in awe, that then the quit-rents may be more strictly enquird into, which will also be an encrease to the Revenue, but durst not well be attempted as matters stand now etc. As to the clause in this new Bill, which continues all laws as they now stand and are accepted, and used in the Island, I was apprehensive some doubt might arise about it, and pushed it as much as I could to have made them use the very words in H.M. letter. I had actually succeeded, if not prevented by some unforeseen behaviour of some people, whom I could not, nor had any reason to suspect. They underhand raised jealousies in peoples minds, as if my aim was to persuade them to give up the use of those English laws, which had always been practiced here, and that then they should have no laws at all, because the municipal laws barely of this Island were hardly any laws at all, they only relating to some few regulations amongst themselves; and for the better management of their negroes. Their sence about that dos appear in the answer to one of the queries I put to the Council. They say that the objection which was against the law, which had been rejected might be reasonable, because they seem now to own, that the enacting the English laws as they had done, might have been attended with inconveniencies to H.M. Government, and the estates and commerce of the subjects in this Island, to which the English laws might not be competent, and might do some mischief in case they were to take place: This is the objection they say, that was made by the Attorney and Sollicitor Genl. at home. I could not contradict but that it was. They affirm that this is obviated now, and hope what they have done will meet with no objection, but be approved of because the laws which are used at present here, are chiefly English laws, and that the laws of England are not enacted by this clause, but such laws only, as now stand and are in force, and in use here, and have by experience been found proper and usefull, which makes them hope as it is consistent also with the Attorney and Sollicitor General's opinion that it is but reasonable the continuance of such laws should be granted them, particularly since they are free from any imputation of novelty, and can't apprehend they can be attended with any evil consequences, I hope I need say no more to put this in a clear light. I must tho' unwillingly desire your Lordships patience a little further; the Bill they have passed for the augmentation of my salary with the fund provided for it, which is a tax upon the produce of the Northern Plantations, has made those few persons who have that trade in their hands clamour a little, as all new taxes do by those affected, but can hardly apprehend that it will meet with objections at home, they being easy duties, and in some measure a retaliation for their impost on the commodities of this Island, and conformable to the sense and purview of the Acts of Trade and Navigation, inasmuch as the navigation from Great Britain hither being exempted from these duties will receive a further encouragement by them; some are of opinion that the fund will not be sufficient, others think it will more than fully answer, but as they are new duties nobody can be certain, however there is a clause of loan to the Receiver Genl., whereby the Assembly is engaged to make good any deficiency that might happen. These Acts have cast so much labour and pains as that I could heartily wish them such assistance as they may have from your approbation. Give me leave to press the passing the Act for settling the North East part of this Island, which has been in England for some time, and the passing also of the Act I send over at present relating to it, several people in this Island being inclinable as soon as they are past, to make settlements there, and it is certain that till some people of this Island make a beginning, no strangers can attempt to make a settlement, and if once begun will be a prodigious advantage to this Island, to trade and navigation, particularly to all ships that go to, and come from England. [Continues in the Duke's own hand.] I would not my Lord have made use of another hand, but have writt myself, was itt not for several reasons that prevent me, and which I hope will all of them plead my excuse; they are the constant interruptions one meets with from the multiplicity of business, that offers itt self dayly and requires dispatch; also that heat of the weather, which is apt, after writting for some time, to occasion and give me violent pains in my head, besides the strong and glaring light in this countrey, brings such a weakness upon my eyes, being oblig'd to use them a good deal, that I am under a necessity to save them as much as I can; but however, was resolved to conclude with my own hand this long letter etc., that I might express my desire of receiving the agreable news of yr. safe arrivall in England, in perfect good health, to renew my request, in desiring allways the continuance of your favour and assistance, and not to forgett him, who wishes he had itt in his power to convince you, that he is, and allways will be with the uttmost sincerity and respect, My Lord, Yr. Lordsps. Most obedt. and Most humble servt. Portland. P.S.—I was under a mistake in the beginning of this letter, about the Councill's address etc. I find itt was not sent over att all and can't tell how itt was omitted. Signed, Portland. Endorsed, Rd. 8th June. 9 large pp. Enclosed,
74. i. Address of the Governor and Council of Jamaica to the King. 3rd July, 1723. Return thanks "for the tender regard your Majesty was pleased to shew to our misfortunes in the last dreadfull hurrycane, and for your Majesty's great goodness in sending us such timely relief of ammunition and warlike stores, etc. Such extraordinary instances of your Royal favour cannot but incite in us suitable returns of duty and gratitude." etc. Profess inviolable loyalty and attachment to H.M. sacred person and government. Signed, Portland. 1 large p.
74. ii. (a) Capt. Laws to Governor the Duke of Portland. Mermaid in the Grout, 24th April, 1723. Encloses following. Has sent his Lieutenant (his brother), to perswade William Taylor and the other pirates on board the Cassandra to surrender, but thinks they will not do so without force or promise of pardon. He cannot attack the pirates, but is waiting off the lagoon where they lie. The Governor of Panama and Porto Bello have sent a sloop with an offer of pardon to the pirates, if they will come in to their port. There is not one Spaniard amongst them.
(b) Petition of pirates on board the Cassandra to the Governor of Jamaica. Island of Pines, near Caledonia, April 10, 1723. Ask for a grant of pardon. They were forced and deluded by others from the Isle of Providence, but since they got clear of them, have committed no acts of piracy, for a year past. Signed, Wm. Taylor, Wm. Fox, Wm. Bates. 70 British subjects, 37 foreigners.
(c) Capt. Laws to the Pirates of the Cassandra.In reply to preceding, thinks they will be pardoned, and invites them to come in. 50 have been pardoned since the Governor's arrival.
(d) Capt. Jos. Laws to Governor the Duke of Portland. The Grout. 5th May, 1723. Encloses following. The pirates have made no application for pardon to the Spaniards, but only to the Governor of Jamaica.
(e) Petition of Pirates of the Cassandra to Governor the Duke of Portland. Beg for a pardon. 26th April, 1723.
(f) Capt. Laws to Same. The Grout. 6th May, 1723. Urges grant of pardon. "The Spaniards are all mad to get the pirates into their port, and the Governor of Panama is coming down on that occasion" etc.
(g) Letter to Capt. Laws from Portabell, 14th May, 1723. The piratts having been told they would get no pardon from Jamaica and that men of war were coming thence to attack them, have accepted a pardon from the Spaniards, upon condition that they should retain their property and liberty.
(h) Governor the Duke of Portland to Capt. Laws. Kingston, 21st May, 1723. Reply to preceding. [To grant this proposal would be] wholly inconsistent with the honour of the English Nation, and my own character etc. I leave them to the managemt. of Capt. Dent and yourself, and hope you will be able to give some good account of them etc.
(i) Capt. Laws to Governor the Duke of Portland. The Grout, 4th June, 1723. The Cassandra arrived at Portabell, 23rd May, at which time I was off Chagre, 12 leagues w. of that port, for as the time of year is westerly winds and easting currents, so expected they would have fallen down as low as Schuda. They had orders so to do, but the winds would not allow them etc. Amongst the Indians on this coast are 90 odd French pirates, besides 70 Indians that join them. My boat with the purser which I sent to the pirate ship was taken by them etc. If the Cassandra had joined them, I don't see what sloop would lay on this coast etc. The Governor of Portabell have publickly declared, that he will encourage the villains, and then see what sloop will lay on the coast. These reasons induced me to write as above. Encloses following:
(j) Capt. Laws to the Pirates on board the Cassandra, 8th May, 1723. I don't see that you are in the least danger in coming in etc. Urges them to await the Governor's pardon. "Whoever has a mind to come and serve his King and Country, shall have nothing taken from them by me" etc.
(k) Pirates of the Cassandra to Capt. Laws. 14th May. Will await the Duke's reply.
(l) Capt. Laws to the Governor of Panama, 31st May, 1723. Demands surrender of the Cassandra, which belonged to the East India Company, and all the men who surrendered, and remonstrates with him for protecting an English pirate who had petitioned the Governor of Jamaica for pardon etc.
(m) Same to the Governor of Porto Bello. 5th May, 1723. Informs him that the pirates have petitioned the Governor of Jamaica, and rebukes his officiousness in sending a sloop to invite them to his port. The ship belonged to the East India Company, and had taken British, French, Dutch, and Portuguese, but no Spanish vessels etc.
(n) Same to Governor of Panama. 3rd June, 1723. I am surprised I have no answer to above. I am no stranger to your sending two armed sloops to protect said pirates.
(o) Governor the Duke of Portland to the President of Panama. [?8th Aug.] Enters claim, on behalf of British subjects, to the Cassandra and any part of cargo found to be their property. Demands immediate restitution of said ship and effects to the bearer, Capt. Dent., H.M.S. Launceston, etc.
(p) J. Germo. Badillo, President of Panama, to Governor the Duke of Portland. Panama, 5th Oct., 1723. Has taken the Cassandra and her crew under the protection of His Catholic Majesty, his only motive being to advance the security of commerce. Refers the persons interested therein to the Court of Spain. The whole, 15 pp. Copies.
74. iii. Speech of Governor the Duke of Portland to the Assembly of Jamaica, St. Jago de la Vega. 7th Jan., 1723/4. Urges passing of new Revenue Bill etc. in accordance with H.M. expectations, the appointment of an Agent in Great Britain and an Act for improving the collection of taxes. Printed. 2 pp.
74. iv. Report of the Committee of Council of Jamaica upon the state of the silver coinage, v. Sessional Papers. Copy. 3 pp.
74. v. Speech of Governor the Duke of Portland to the Assembly. St. Jago de la Vega, 30th Jan., 1723(4). Regrets their difference with the Council over amendments to the Revenue Bill, which were intended chiefly to remove all objections at home. As there is no clause suspending its execution till H.M. pleasure is known, he is obliged to transmit a draught of the bill for H.M. approbation before giving it his assent. Adjourns Assembly till 28th July, etc. Copy. 1¼pp.
74. vi. Minutes of Council of Jamaica, 8th March, 1723– 15th Jan., 1724. Proceedings relating to the Public Credit. Copy. 14 1/8 pp.
74. vii. (a) Address of the Council of Jamaica to Governor the Duke of Portland. Return thanks for Speech (No. iii). Will do all in their power to comply with H.M. commands, as well as what appears to them to be for the good and welfare of the country etc. Praise his just and wise administration.
(b) The Governor's reply to preceding.
(c) Address of the Assembly to the Governor, 10th Jan., 1724. Return thanks for Speech (No. iii). "H.M. constant care and extream goodness towards us, fills us with the warmest sentiments of duty and gratitude," etc. "The calamity your Grace found us in could only have been made tollerable by your Grace's inimitable conduct, which composed our minds and roused our hopes," etc.
(d) The Governor's reply to preceding. The whole, 3 pp. Copy.
74. viii. (a) Queries offered by Governor the Duke of Portland to the Council of Jamaica on the Revenue Bill. 30th Jan., 1723(4).(b) Replies of the Council to preceding. The whole,pp. Copy. [C.O. 137, 52. ff. 35–39, 41v, 42, 44– 51, 52–54, 55, 55v., 57–64, 65–36, 67, 68–69.]
March 4.
75. Governor the Duke of Portland to the Council of Trade and Plantations. A copy of preceding covering letters, with a few omissions. Endorsed, Reed. 20th, Read 25th June, 1724. 9 pp. Enclosed,
75. i–viii. Copies of enclosures ii–viii preceding.
75. ix. Draught of Bill for granting a Revenue to H.M. his heirs and successors for the support of the Government of this Island, and perpetuating the Acts and Laws thereof as they now stand and are used (v. covering letter), with (v) an Estimate of H.M. Annual Revenue. Receipts, £8371 12s. 6d. Expenditure, £8000. Passed the Assembly, Jan. 24th., 1723(4). Signed, Wm. Nedham, Speaker. Passed the Council, Jam. 29th, 1723(4). Signed, Jos. Maxwell, Cl. Council. Endorsed, Reed. 20th June, 1724. 11 pp.
75. x. A Bill to augment the salary of His Grace the Duke of Portland during his residence in this Island as Governour. Grants £2500 additional money of this Island over and above the salary appointed out of the Revenue, to be paid out of duties laid on imports from the Northern Colonies, and if deficient to be made good. Passed the Assembly, 23rd Jan., 1723(4). Passed the Council, 28th Jan., 1723(4). Signed and endorsed as preceding. If pp. [C.O. 137, 14. ff. 279–283, 284– 285v., 286v.–287v., 288v.–291v., 292v., 294–299, 300v.– 303, 304–305, 306v., 307, 308–312v., 314–321, 322v. (with abstract).]
March 5.
76. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Recommend, as proposed by Governor Shute, that Jotham Odiorne be appointed to the Council of New Hampshire, in place of Col. Plaisted, who has refused to serve. [C.O. 5, 915. p. 397.]
March 5. 77. Governor Shute to the Earl of Dartmouth. Represents several things that have happened in Massachusetts Bay since his Memorial to the King, March 1723 etc. (i) The Governor and Council having paid some of the just debts contracted in the service of the Province in the recess of the General Assembly, according to the known and necessary forms of the Government there, the House of Representatives at their next meeting voted those payments to be grievances, (ii) Upon a debate arising between the Council and the House of Representatives, about a sufficient supply of the Treasury, in a time of war with the Indians, and when the coast of New England was infested with pyrates; upon the House of Representatives not agreeing with the Council to give a sufficient supply, the Council desired a Conference, which the House of Representatives refused, alledging it was not agreeable to their privileges so to do; contrary to the known usuage of the General Assembly, and manifestly tending to destroy all good correspondence between the Council and the House of Representatives; so that the Sessions ended, without granting any supply at all for the contingencies of the Government, by which the Governmt. there was necessarily exposed to the utmost hazard during the recess; there not being six pounds in the Treasurer's hands to pay the charges of an express ordered by the Governor and Council; and the House of Representatives ordered their Articles of Grievances, with their votes and those of the Council, relating to the said payments and matter of supply, to be forthwith printed for the better informing of the people, whom they represented etc. The Representatives have for some years past industriously avoided all conference with the Council, in matters of weight; whereby some of the country members, who are many of them of low fortune, parts and education, are prevented from having the affairs depending before the Assembly, sett in a true light, and free'd from the misrepresentations of the leading men in the House of Representatives, (iii) Tho' H.M. has been pleased to appoint me Governr., and I am absent by H.M. leave, to lay the state of this Province before H.M.; the Representatives have not voted me any allowance since my absence, (iv) The Representatives, not content with subjecting the Militia to their orders, by prescribing those rules in their votes which belong to the Captn. General to give as there may be occasion, and paying none of the forces, without seeing by their muster-rolls, that such their orders have been comply'd with, have extended the like orders by a vote in their last sessions to H.M. Fort of Castle William; which by its strength and situation in respect of the port and town of Boston, is the fort of much the greatest consequence of any in the Province, (v) For a treaty lately concluded at Boston with the Six Nations of the Macquois, who have been for many years in strict alliance with the Crown of Great Britain, H.M. is not so much as mention'd except by the Macquois themselves; and when the Treaty was concluded and the Lt. Governr. who in the absence of the Governor is Commander in Chief, had by the advice of H.M. Council affixt his seal to a belt of wampum for the ratification of the same (which I humbly conceive to be H.M. seal) the House of Representatives did order it to be effaced and gave their directions to the Secretary of the Province to affix the seal of the Province, which I apprehend to be an unhear'd invasion of H.M. un-doubted right of making treatys. (vi) The person the Genl. Assembly have sent to sollicit their affairs at the Court of Great Britain is Elish Cooke Esq., who has denied H.M. right to the woods in the Province of Maine, tho' those woods are reserv'd to the Crown by the Royal Charter of King Wm. and Queen Mary, and are since declared to be vested in the Crown by Act of Parliament. This person has been also at the head of all those measures I have complained of in my Memorial to H.M. etc. And, when it was voted in the House of Representatives, that he should come over to assist their Agent Jer. Dummer Esq. in the defence of their Charter and privileges, H.M. Council put a negative upon him; But some time after the Council receeded from their negative, and suffer'd themselves to be prevailed on to vote in conjunction with the House of Representatives by a joint ballot (tho' they had during my stay in New England) constantly oppos'd the growing power of the House of Representatives, by which means the said Mr. Cooke was voted to be the Assistant of their Agent accordingly, (vii) The House has been all along endeavouring to weaken the credit of the Council with the people; and to intimidate them whilst they have been discharging their trust etc.: and once expressed their wishes in a publick vote, that those might be known who had advis'd a bill passed in Council against riots, only on a pecuniary penalty, to which they did not think fit to concur; that they might be discover'd and no longer screen'd from the just resentments of the people: to which many of the Council have on such occasions had reason to think themselves greatly exposed: the Representatives well knowing that such a law would have secured the freedom of the Council and render'd their projects to grasp the whole power of the Province into their own hands, without effect. Thus your Lordsp. will see that as by my Memorial to H.M., the House of Representatives had then in a manner got the whole legislative and executive power into their own hands; so they have now extended that power also to the soldiers and officers in the fort of greatest consequence H.M. has in this Province: and, among other methods by which they shew that, far from having any remorse for their bold and daring invasions on the undoubted prerogatives of the Crown (with no other view than increasing their own power) they have sent over the man, that has been at the head of all these measures, to solicit their affairs at the Court of Great Britain, and that the Council are so overborne as even to have given up their acting in their separate capacity, in an affair of great importance, to the destruction of the Constitution of that Government, and to the giving up the only remaining security of the few and undoubted prerogatives of the Crown there, against the great and daily encroachments of the House of Representatives. Signed, Samuel Shute. 3 large pp. [C.O. 5, 752. No. 23.]
March 5.
St. James's.
78. H.M. Licence of absence for twelve months to Patrick Crawfurd, Provost Marshall General of the Leeward Islands. Countersigned, Carteret. Copy. [C.O. 324, 35. p. 56.]
March 5.
St. James's.
79. H.M. licence of absence to Charles Sibourg, Lt. Governor of Nevis for another year. Countersigned, Carteret. Copy. [C.O 324, 35. pp. 57, 58.]
March 9.
80. Lord Carteret to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The King does very well approve of your Representation concerning the State etc. of H.M. Colonies on the Continent etc. and it is His pleasure, that you represent the state and condition of His islands in America and report your opinion, what methods may be taken for the better Government, security and improvement thereof. Signed, Carteret. Endorsed, Reed. 9th., Read 10th March, 1723/4. 1 p. [C.O. 323, 8. No. 45.]
March 10.
So. Carolina,
81. Governor Nicholson to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses duplicates of 17th Feb. etc., and proclamation proroguing the Assembly. Continues: On the 3rd inst., dyed James Moore Esq. late Speaker of the House of Commons, he was taken ill soon after the Assembly broke up which is the reason he did not sign the Address (v. Feb. 17. No. i), but when please God the Assembly meets they will chuse a new Speaker, and the Honble. Arthur Middleton Esq. the first of H.M. Council hath not been here since. I herewith transmitt the Tax Act which I hope will meet wth. your Lordps. approbation it being the usual way of laying the levy here etc. Encloses Treasurer's accounts etc. Continues:—The other Acts and Journals of both Houses are prepairing, but good writers are very scarce here and we are oblig'd to send copys of most part of the tax Act to the several parishes, without which the levy could not be raised which took up a great deal of time. When I have gott the laws and journalls I shall God willing by the next safe opportunity, transmitt them etc. Refers to enclosures concerning the Spanish Governor of St. Augustine. Continues: I recd, the said Govrs. letter the next morning after our Assembly was prorogued, so I have not had an opportunity of laying the same before them, but I communicated it to some of H.M. Honble. Council. We are all apprehensive that the Governor sent them as spyes to see what condition Fort King George was in and what other things they could informe themselves of etc. The weather of late has been very uncertain, sometimes cold and sometimes warm, so at present it's sickly especially among the negro's, but I hope in God the later end of this month will be settled weather. We are in great want of ships and vessells to carry the comodities to Great Britain, and we are in daily hopes of having them arrive here, and that we shall have the honour of receiving your Lordships' commands and good news from Great Brittain in all respects etc. Signed, Fr. Nicholson. Endorsed, Recd. 24th April, Read 29th Oct., 1724. 2 ¼ pp. Enclosed,
81. i. List of following enclosures. Signed, Fr. Nicholson. Endorsed, Recd. 5th May, Read 29th Oct., 1724. 1 p.
81. ii. List of following enclosures and of enclosures sent to Lord Carteret, 12th March. Signed, Fr. Nicholson. Endorsed, Recd. 24th April, 1724.1½ pp.
81. iii. Governor Nicholson's Proclamation proroguing the Assembly, till the 17th. March 5th, 1724. Signed and endorsed as No. i. 1 p.
81. iv. Lord Carteret to Governor Nicholson. Versions of Nos. v. and vi. following. Endorsement as preceding. Spanish. 2 pp.
81. v. Same to Same. Copy of C.S.P. 6th Sept., 1721. Same endorsement.
81. vi. Same to Same. Copy of C.S.P. 28th Nov. 1722. Same endorsement. ¾ p.
81. vii. Report of the Committee of the two Houses appointed to reply to Lord Carteret's letter (No. vi) 10th and 11th May, 1723. The fort referred to must be Fort George built on the mouth of Alatamaha River. The river and a large territory South of the same is included in the charter of K. Charles II. The nearest settlement the Spaniards had to it was St. Maria, 60 miles S. of the river, and deserted by them in 1702. Except some look-outs at the mouth of the River St. John's, 70 miles beyond the river, they have no settlement nearer than St. Augustine. Alatamaha River has always been known to be part of this Province, and for these 40 years a considerable trade has been carried on there with the Indians without interruption, and several inhabitants of this Province had houses and plantations on the river etc. Value of the fort emphasised. It will be of dangerous consequence to the Continent of America to give up the River or St. Simond's Island, the river having a communication with all the Southern and Western Indians in amity with us, and the harbour at the mouth and St. Simond's Island will be if settled by the French or Spaniards in time of war. Signed, Ar. Middleton, Ra. Izard, Wm. Bill, William Gibbon, B. Schenkingh. Same endorsement. Copy. 2 ¼ pp.
81. viii. Governor of St. Augustine to the Governor of S. Carolina. St. Augustine de la Florida, 3rd Feb., 1724. Sends copy of Lord Carteret's Instructions, Nos. v. and vi. supra. Signed, Don Antonio de Benavides. Spanish. Copy. 1 p.
81. ix. Declaration by Don Antonio that he has sent preceding by the hands of an Officer, Francisco Dominguez, etc. Signed as preceding. Spanish. Copy. 1 p. Nos. viii & ix endorsed Reed. 5th May, Read 29th Oct., 1724.
81. x. Governor Nicholson to the Governor of St. Augstine. Charles Town. Feb. 27, 1723(4). Reply to Nos. viii, ix. Regrets that the Commander of Fort King George sent his messenger forward through the English settlements. As he informed him before, all messages must be sent by sea. Has written to Lord Carteret in reply to his letter of 6th Sept., 1721, and daily expects an answer etc. Concludes:—I am much surprised at the treatment of Capt. Wilson when I sent him in a publick capacity to make a demand of some runaway slaves, and that Cherekeeleechee with a party came into this settlement, killed some of our people and carried off a negroe slave, etc. Requests that runaway slaves now entertained at St. Augustine may be returned by sea or secured till sent for etc. P.S. Your people have been subsisted here at the publick charge, and I have given them every day two bottles of Madera, and they will have provision given for their return. I kept them the longer that they might have the advantage of the full moon etc. Signed, Fr. Nicholson.
81. xi (a). Governor Nicholson to Col. Barnwell. 27th Feb., 1723. To same effect as following. Signed, Fr. Nicholson. ½ p. (b) Governor Nicholson to Lt. Huddy. Reply to following. Feb. 27, 1723 (4). Concludes: I have writ to the Govr. of St. Augustine that I will receive no message from him but by sea directly over the barr to Charles Town, therefore for the future you are to receive no message, nor suffer any strange boat to come within gunshot of your Garrison etc. Signed, by order of H.E. and Council, Cha. Hart, Secry. ½ p.
81. xii. Lt. Huddy to Governor Nicholson. Fort King George, 9th Feb., 1724. On the 7th arrived a flag of truce from St. Augustine. Has sent them to H.E., according to his Instructions etc. Signed, Cha. Huddy. Copy. 1 p. Nos. x–xii endorsed as No. i.
81. xiii. Estimate of Revenue Expenditure, 29th Sept., 1723–1724. Total, £29,796 7s. 1d. Endorsed, Reed. 24th April, Read 29th Oct., 1724. Copy. 2 ¾ pp.
81. xiv. Treasurer's accounts. Reed. £9132. Paid, £7557 18s. 10d. Signed, A. Parris. Endorsed as preceding.1 ¼ pp.
81. xv. Revenue and expenditure, 1st Jan., 1723–1724. Balance in Treasurer's hands, £15,507 5s. 8d. Audited by Committee of both houses. Signed and endorsed as preceding. 11 pp. [C.O. 5, 359. ff 137–139, 140, 140v., 141v.–143v., 144v.–145, 146–149, 150–156, 157–163v.; and (abstract of covering letter) 5, 406. p. 13.]
March 11.
82. Governor Hart to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses duplicates of 3rd and 11th Dec. last. Continues: If the originalls are not arrived, which I am apprehensive of, from the tempestuous weather that happen'd about that time; I humbly intreat your Lordships to take them into your consideration and favour me with your sentiments upon them, at your convenient time. On the account of the death of the Regent of France, which filled these Islands with a pannick fear, that the war with France wou'd be renew'd, which had almost proved the ruin of these the Leeward Islands; I took that occasion to lay before the Council and Assembly of Antigua the state they were in, in case of such an event, etc. Refers to enclosed Speech and Addresses on that subject. Continues: In the conclusion of that Speech, wherein I have thank'd the Assembly for the affectionate regard they have alwaies show'd me, especially in that part of making a provision for my better support; a majority of the Council of one took umbrage at it, etc., and expostulated with me upon it at the Board in terms so high as no ways suited with the decency and order that ought to govern at that place, nor with that respect that is due to H.M. Commission. I am sorry to represent to your Lordships that this proceedure of some of the Gentlemen of the Council has been frequently repeated; and as they have no one thing to object to my conduct in my administration, I cannot impute their misbehaviour but to the same factious temper, which made some of them principal actors in that bloody tragedy, in which my predecessor Mr. Parke and several others were sacrificed to their rage. Two of the most violent actors therein, vizt. Nathaniel Crump Esq. and Archabald Cochran Esq. are now of H.M. Council. It might have been expected that the favour these Gentlemen received from the Crown, not only in being pardon'd for so notorious and flagrant an[d] offence, but in being promoted to the stations they are now in, would have given a happier turn to their demeanour; But their tempers and dispositions are no ways changed by their promotion; and submit it to your Lordships whether their continuance there, will not be an encouragement for restless spirits to disturb the peace and quietness of that Island etc. Not only the Assembly, but ninteen in twenty of the people in that Island are affectionate to me, being under the utmost concern, least the unhappy humour of these gentlemen might fling them into the convulsions they formerly laboured under at the death of Mr. Parke etc. Refers to Address of Grand Jury (end. iv); Continues :—Their principal intention was to