America and West Indies: December 1725

Pages 471-490

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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December 1725

Dec. 1.
795. Mr. Popple to Mr. Fane. Encloses six Acts of N. Hampshire, 1723, 1724, for his opinion thereon in point of law. [C.O. 5, 915. pp. 449, 450.]
Dec. 2. 796. Mr. Fane to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Reply to 18th Nov. By the Act of Barbados to prevent the carrying off slaves etc. the punishment for carrying off negroes is death and the forfeiture of the ship and cargo. This is a little too severe, but the same law has been found necessary in all the other Islands etc. A penalty of £500 is also laid upon any person compounding any matter done contrary to the Act in relation to negro slaves without proceeding in a due course of law to bring the offender to justice; and this penalty is to be recovered as in the case of servants' wages, that is before the Justices of the Peace, and to be applyed one half to the Informer and the other to the use of the fortifications as the other penalties in this Act are. I submit that this summary method of proceeding in cases of penalties before the Justices of the Peace and which seems now to be pretty general in the Plantations ought to be condemned, but particularly in so penal a law as this is, which ought to go through the most strict and regular enquiry the Law allows off, and deserves the greatest weight and consideration before it is determined. The penalties imposed by this Act are not applied in the usual method they ought to be, for no part of it is given to H.M., which I apprehend is restraining the prerogative of the Crown in a very great instance and contrary to the Instructions. Signed, Fran. Fane. Endorsed, Recd. 2nd Dec, 1725, Read 29th April, 1726. 2¾ pp. [C.O. 28, 18. ff. 246–247v]
Dec. 2.
797. Lt. Governor Armstrong to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Notwithstanding the fair promises of the French Governor of Cape Breton etc. (v Sept. 5th), I have had the good luck to take two of his passports, the one for trading, the other carrying a Missionary preist, both with his directions coming to this Government contrary to his faith and promise; desiring in the priest's passport the protection of the Commanders in Cheif, just as if he commanded them thereunto, contrary to H.M. honour and dignity etc. (v enclosures). I have also certain information of a great body of Indians joyned with the evil French inhabitants of this Province, that are to attacque us this winter in order to destroy this Settlement, and Fishery, which is one of the greatest in the world, and which the French cannott bear without the greatest envy, and underhand do all they can to destroy it. Wherefore I referr myself to your Lordshipps directions, what you shall think proper for me to do in this case for H.M. service early in the spring: and whether your Lordshipps will not think it proper for me to take a tour thro' the Province, and oblige the French inhabitants as well as Indians, to take the oaths to H.M. King George, in order to become true and lawfull subjects, or be obliged to quitt the Government intirely, which in my humble opinion would be the best way, for we shall never be safe or secure so long as they are permitted to be snakes in our bosoms; that would cutt our throats on all occasions. Refers to enclosures. Signed, L. Armstrong. Endorsed, Recd. Read 28th April, 1726. 1½ pp. Enclosed,
797. i. Philip de Gruchy to Lt. Governor Armstrong. Island of Sables, 9th Nov., 1725. The crews of the ship John and William and the sloop Eagle, wrecked here on 20th Oct., amounting to 42 persons, are reduced to very great extremities for want of provisions here etc. as our stores are small we cannot help them much longer etc. Signed, Ph. de Gruchy. Copy. 1 p
797. ii. Wm. Blyn, master of the John and William, and George Green, master of the Eagle (v preceding) to Lt. Governor Armstrong. As preceding. Pray to be allowed to take a small schooner just arrived in this harbour from the French shore, in order to escape from the Island having nothing to subsist upon, but what they kill. Signed, William Blyn, George Green. Copy. 1 p.
797. iii. Order by Lt. Governor Armstrong, that the said French schooner be valued and a proper agreement be made with the master, as desired, No. ii. Canso, 24th Nov., 1725. Signed, L. Armstrong. Copy. 1 p.
797. iv. Valuation of and agreement for the Mary Magdalen schooner of St. Peters in Cape Breton, £90 N.E. money, £6 for the run to Cape Sables etc. (v Nos. i–iii.) Signed, Phi. Dumarisq, William Blyn, William Ellery, George Green. Canso, 24th Nov., 1725. Copy. 1 p.
797. v. Receipt by W. Blyn and G. Green for provisions received from Lt. Gov. Armstrong. Same date. Signed, William Blyn, George Green. Copy, ¾ p.
797. vi. (a) Passport issued by the Governor of Cape Breton to a French missionary priest to go to Acadie to help another missionary there. The Lt. Governor and Commander of this Province are to welcome and protect him. Louisburg, 1st Oct., 1725. Signed, St. Ovide de Brouillan. French. Copy. Subscribed,(b) I ordered the above priest to return to Luisbourg and at his perrill not to return into this Province without my express leave. The whole, 1 p.
797. vii. Passport to the master of a French vessel, to trade during 1724 along the coasts of the Colony of L'Isle Royal, Louisbourg, 1st Jan., 1724. French. pp. [C.O. 217, 4. ff. 308–315v and (abstract of covering letter), 217, 30. p. 19.]
Dec. 2
798. Lt. Govr. Armstrong to the Duke of Newcastle. Repeats preceding letter, mutatis mutandis. Signed, L. Armstrong. Endorsed, Rd. April 27. 2 pp. Enclosed,
798. i–vii. Copies of enclosures i–vii preceding. [C.O. 217, 38. Nos. 9, 9 i–vii.]
Dec. 6.
799. Extract of letter from Mr. Delafaye to Governor Burnet. Recommends Mr. Walpole's case. The Duke's letter will convince your friends that the Ministry is very much in earnest about it. "I have written to him to use his influence, which is very considerable at the French Court, to have such a Governor appointed of their settlements as may not tread in the steps of his predecessors by giving underhand disturbance to our plantations" etc. "I wish our own people may not in some measure be the aggressors by dealing unjustly or roughly with the Indians, for I doubt our planters are too apt to overvalue themselves, and to imagine those creatures are not to be treated as rational beings like themselves." Set out, N.Y. Col. Docs. V. pp. 771, 772. 12/3 pp. [C.O. 5, 1092. No. 46.]
Dec. 7, 800. Mr. Fane to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Report upon case of William White etc. v 26th July. The statute of 33rd Hen. VIII remains in force and applies to this case; but the method of trial pursued was not in the least warranted by it, for the examination appointed could only be by the Privy Council, and the commission for trial issued only by the Chancellor of England under the Great Seal. Signed, Fran. Fane. Endorsed, Recd. Read 8th Dec, 1725. 3 pp. Enclosed,
800. i. Copy of No. 767. [C.O. 152, 15. ff 136–139v]
Dec. 8.
801. Mr. Popple to Sir Philip Yorke (Attorney General) and Sir Clement Wearg (Solicitor General). Enclose for their opinion in point of law, case and queries relating to the trial of White (v 4th Nov.). [C.O. 153, 14. p. 200.]
Dec. 10. 802. Caveat on behalf of the Lords Proprietors, that no grant of any office, employment or lands in S. Carolina be passed, without notice given to their Secretary, that they may be first heard as to their right to appoint the officers in that Government etc. [C.O. 5, 290. p. 169.]
Dec. 11. 803. Mr. Fane to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Has no objection in point of law to Acts of New Jersey, (i) for the support of Government, (ii) concerning the duty of Commissioners to manage the loan offices in the counties, and (iii) for the better putting in execution the act for regulating offences etc. Signed, Fran. Fane. Endorsed, Reed. 13th Dec, 1725, Read 23rd June, 1726. 1¾ pp. [C.O. 5, 972. ff. 104, 104v, 105v]
Dec. 15. 804. Capt. King to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Your Lordships having been pleas'd some time since to defer reporting upon the Jamaica Act for setling of the Pero Plantation until the matter was determin'd in Chancery, encloses following and prays for favourable report on said Act. Signed, Thos. King. Endorsed, Recd., Read 15th Dec, 1725. Addressed. 1 p. Enclosed,
804. i. Order in Chancery, 8th Dec, 1725, dismissing, with costs, the bill of William Gordon and wife v. Thomas King and wife, for want of prosecution. Signed, Tho. Parnell, Deput. Regr. 1 p. [C.O. 137, 16. ff. 129, 130, 132v]
Dec. 15.
805. Mr. Popple to Mr. Attorney and Mr. Solicitor General. Again presses for reply to 17th Aug. 1724. [C.O. 5, 1365. p. 285.]
Dec. 15. 806. Petition of Wavell Smith to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The Address of the Council and Assembly of St. Kitts (v 20th July) is not entered in the Council books. It was contrived by Governor Hart and sent about privately to the Members etc. Asks for copy of Governor Hart's reply to his complaint (20th July), etc. Endorsed, Recd., Read 15th Dec, 1725. 2¼ pp. [C.O. 152, 15. ff 158–159v]
[Dec. 16.] 807. Copy of a resolution of the General Assembly of Connecticut, appointing Commissioners to settle the boundaries with Rhode Island, Oct. 8, 1702. Endorsed, Read 16th Dec, 1725. 3 pp. [C.O. 5, 1266. ff. 191–192v]
[Dec. 16.] 808. Copy of a letter from the Governor and Company of Connecticut, 1st June 1720, to the Governor and Company of Rhode Island, and of their answer, 7th July, 1720, and a reply thereto, 18th Aug., relating to the boundaries. Endorsed as preceding. 9 pp. [C.O. 5, 1266. ff. 193–197v]
Dec. 18. 809. Report by Mr. Solicitor and Mr. Attorney General upon the case of W. White. (Reply to 4th Nov.) We are of opinion that the Statute of 33 H. viii does not extend to the Plantations and that there is no foundation from that Act to grant special commissions of oyer and terminer for trial of offences arising out of the Colony, within which such commission is granted. The safest method of bringing White to justice is to send him over into England to be examined before the Privy Council etc., and tried pursuant to that statute etc. Signed, P. Yorke, C. Wearg. Endorsed, Recd. 22nd Dec, 1725, Read 12th Jan., 1725/6. 5 pp. [C.O. 152, 15. ff. 216–218, 219v]
Dec. [18].
810. Governor the Duke of Portland to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Acknowledges letters of April 30th and June 30th etc. Continues: I heartily wish the Revenue Bill cou'd have mett with a quicker despatch the reason for it your Lordships will find by what I shall hereafter mention. Returns thanks for Mr. Mill's appointment to the Council. Continues: As to the other four Councillors who went for England, of which two are dead, and two others appointed to fill up their places, I own I am under some difficulty how to express myself concerning them. I would fain avoid giving the least grounds to think I am dissatisfied with whatever your Lordships judge proper or reasonable, and unwilling to give characters of persons as they deserve, but as my duty to H.M., and the Publick servise here calls upon me, I think it would be wrong should I be silent. Before I go on, I must earnestly intreat your Lordships not to think what I shall say proceeds from any private view, my greatest pleasure would be to conform in all things, if possible in such a manner as would be most agreeable. I likewise with some concern must desire that the contents of my letters may be kept more private. How persons come to be inform'd as they are of what I write, I can't tell but it is hard that when I am giving those necessary intelligences that are expected from me, particularly concerning people's characters, that, that should be known, and when not to the advantage of some, I certainly must expect to make as many personall enemies. Your Lordships inform'd me you had recommended Mr. Laws to succeed Major Rose etc. Mr. Laws ever since my arrivall here has constantly been the greatest oposer to everything recomended by the Government, he publickly professes he will leave nothing untry'd to create trouble, raise difficulties, or make me uneasie, and has always gloried in doing it in so extraordinary a manner, as to desire to be taken notice of, that he was single in his opposition whilst in the Assembly, in matters wherein they intended to be unanimous. Just after my arrival he came for some short time to see me, but but ever since has carry'd himself with such an air of defiance, as to forbid his wife to make a visit to mine, resolving he never would appear in the King's House, upon consideration, he thought proper to come himself to acquaint me that he had H.M. privy Seal to be sworn in one of the Council. I can't suppose he can complain of the manner of his reception or that even he expected the civility he then mett with, that very morning I had him sworn in, and he took his place accordingly, when the Council was over I prest him to dine with me, which others prevail'd with him, much against his inclinations, to do; But his wife has not had leave to pay the least compliment to mine, and neither, he or she, ever come near us. His method is to wait for notice when the Council is going to meet, and the moment it breaks up to affect some hasty engagment in order to be gone. His behaviour whilst he attends is so remarkable and shocking that it would take up too much time to describe it. He can't conceal his pleasure and vanity in obstructing, or confounding, if he can whatever is proposed, and what is intolerable he without any exception confederates with all those who delight in opposition and confusion, and makes the worst use he can of all he hears and knows by his being in Council. I was in hopes that since Mr. Barnard had withdrawn himself, there wou'd have been a stop, at least in Council, to division, but by Mr. Laws Mr. Barnard is there by his representative, and such a one as will when putt upon by his brother Barnard go such lengths, and undertake such things as Mr. Barnard's temper would not have admitted him to appear in. As to Mr. Henry Stout who succeeds Coll. Sadler I own it surprises me, as it do's most Gentlemen of a superior character and figure to his, how he came to be recommended. I realy shou'd have been backward in doing it, considering his late condition and circumstances, it is but a few years ago that he was a Quaker, and that all the fortune he now has, he got by an old woman he married, and don't care to live with; what he expects she should give him, or what she has in her power to leave him at her death, I can't well learn. As he is a young man this is fresh in peoples memories who think much of it, that he should be rank'd amongst the Councillors, and they themselves can't help expressing some uneasiness that such a one hardly fit company for them before, and one of the same kidney with Mr. Laws should now be their equal at that Board, besides the distance he lives at from this town makes it inconsistent with his attendance in Council, which is a difficulty I already too much labour under. I wish they had as great a desire to attend as they are solicitous to have a place at that Board, as a pretence only to be idle. As to the other two who still remain in England the one Col. Pusey I have no manner of objection to him, provided he returns etc. But as to the other who is Mr. Gregory had I known before he went to England what I know now, it would have been my duty at least to have dismist him from the Council then, if I had carried it no further, but as he went soon after my arrival I could not then be so well informed as I have been since, tho' I own I had my suspicions particularly at such times and as often as the affair of Coll. Du Bourgay came to be consider'd of and debated. He made such a jest of the King's privy seal and redicul'd H.M. authority in so arrogant and undecent a manner as obliged me several times to silence him, by putting him in mind of the authority by which he had a place there, not to exceed the bounds of moderation, but to remember his duty in that place, and the oath he had taken etc.; whilest he has been absent etc., I have heard it publickly talk'd of and generally own'd that he is the most notorious Jacobite in the country, that, he professes and glories in it whereever he is free over a glass of wine, and had like to have involved himself into difficulties upon that account before I arriv'd; severall of my servants have acquainted me that even at my table whenever the Kings health was drank that as often as any of his friends were near him they have heard him express himself, this is to our Dear Jemmy. How propper and agreeable it must be to have such a person in Council I submitt to your Lordships' judgment. I cou'd make several objections to others but that this country is so unprovided with those that are unexceptionable that I am quite at a loss to find out how it can well be mended, and the resolution I had made to recommend none but such as are persons of some character, of estates or integrity, has heitherto prevented me to send over any list of names, but however there is one here I must likewise represent against and he is Coll. Anthony Swimmer. He never attends the Council any more than he do's (as being a Judge) the Grand Court. He is one of those who aledge the inconveniency it puts him under by being at such a distance, and constantly under some frivolous pretence of indisposition, or private business, declines his attendance: But he never fails at the setting of an Assembly, at which time he thinks he can do mischief. His health or private business don't at such a time stand in the way. His plotting and confederating with the opposers of the Government is so notorious that the generality of those who come to me wonder to see, how he can with a grave face in my presence pretend to have nothing so much at heart, as to see the Government perfectly easy whilst I am here; as the best and only way to have this country prosper, and under the pretence of civility or regard to me when in town is a daily constant spy upon all my actions, upon all persons and on every word spoken in my company. The use he makes of it, is, to go to their private place of meeting, appointed for that day, which most generally is at Mr. Barnard's and Mr. Laws's they being in the same house, or in the neighbourhood at one Mr. Henderson's (who upon the recommendation he brought from my Lord Westmorland I shew'd all the favour and countenance in my power but has constantly disappointed me in every thing I could expect of him) there Mr. Barnard now supported by Mr. Swimmer and Mr. Laws his brother lays schemes how to frustrate, whatever is intended by the Government, by putting the worst interpretation they can invent upon every thing, and raising scruples, jealousies and discontents in peoples minds. This could not so well be done whilst Col. Swimmer was alone, but now encouraged and supported by the assistance of Mr. Laws, they attempt whatever offers itself first to their minds. This is chiefly, I wish I could say not intirely owing to the incouragment the opposers have (I hope accidentally) received by seeing two of their friends at home lately so distinguished at Home, and one of them who had so constantly since my arrival declar'd his resolution to obstruct whatever might make the Government easier than it was in his father's time before I came, they have by this resolved to try all means, that may interrupt that tranquility matters had been brought to, and they with great impatience expect the new addition their strength will receive by the arival of Mr. Gregory and Mr. Stout, so that I now shall have to encounter the spleen of Sir N. Laws's family for his being superseeded in the Government, and Mr. Barnards who can't forgett the coming over of Coll. Du Bourgay, however this may without any great difficulty be rectified. I return your Lordships thanks for expressing (in what you mentioned concerning the Provost Marshal) your satisfaction and pleasure that the strugle I had about it is over, and hope you'll continue in the same disposition towards making my administration easy: Butt my Lords what I should be glad to know; and desir'd your Lordships advice and oppinion in, was, that, whereas in my instructions, I am directed to inspect into the behaviour of the Deputies put in by the Patentees, and also of the patentees; to suspend them upon misbehaviour etc., how I can execute and how I must proceed, in what is expected from me by that instruction, when deputies and patentees are as they insisted upon, independant, and in a manner bid defiance to any superiour power here; taking care to keep within a hair's breadth of their duty: But at the same time neglect, insult, caball, oppose, and redicule all manner of Government, and upon a suspension of a Deputy insist upon their right of nominating others, declaring they will nominate none but such as shall be more and more, disagreeable; whither this be within the meaning of good behaviour, I won't take upon me to determine, nor can I tell whither upon this they can be proceeded against in a due course of law. I think your Lordships may plainly see how carefull and tender I have been not to exceed its bounds, and certainly shall always continue to be so, but as this method of proceeding if not discouraged may be attended with the greatest inconveniences, and frustrate the intention of the instruction, in my opinion some way might be found out at home, so as to make them know their duty, if not to compell them totally to do it, some check or repremand, at least from home to such Patentees or their deputies whenever hereafter this may happen again might be of service. But if omitted and on the contrary seem to be countenanced must make the Government contemptible. As to the Coroners here; and the writs of errour in council which I formerly mentioned I need not give your Lordships any further trouble about them, since no ill consequence can be apprehended from thence, but what, now I am apprised of your Lordships sense, I can without difficulty remove. As to what has happen'd concerning the last received Instruction to have the laws further continued for a year will be the subject of what is to follow. The state of tranquility I have mentioned before etc. had a pleasing aspect, and a promising one as to its continuance. I did not question but that with very little trouble I should have had what might have been expected from me at Home, carried on smoothly, but am sorry I must represent, that the news of Mr. Laws, and Mr. Stout, being nominated of the Council no sooner came over but that I perceived a great alteration in the tempers of some persons: Mr. Barnard and his friends took it as if they had carried a great victory. Congratulations and rejoyceings were frequent; this news unhappily came over at the same time with the instruction to have the laws here continued for a year longer, and just as the setting of the Assembly was necessary. What they were driving at was obvious by their frequent meetings and summoning not only their friends but all those they could propose any ways to influence. When the Assembly mett the effects of their contrivances soon appear'd by jealousies, discontents, and a desire to oppose and find fault with every thing. All my behaviour in their private cabbals had in every respect narrowly been scrutined, but as to that I hope it will not be thought vanity in me to say, that I bid them deffiance; and can have no greater satisfaction than what I receive from the hopes and confidence I rest under, that my actions when ever examined will at least be able to justifie themselves. As they were to their great mortification entirely dissapointed in that examination it increased their spleen, and made them with more fury resolve to contrive, and watch for opportunities to vent it on all occasions. The first thing they begun with was to expell Mr. Attorney Generall who upon his former expulsion the session before had been re-elected in some vacancy that had happen'd. Next having appointed their committees as usuall and amongst them one of grievances they contrary to usage impower'd that committee to sett, take depositions and proceed to business at Port Royall, with powers to send for papers, persons or records, this fishing committee (not knowing what other name to give it so like an inquisition) being return'd with nothing matterial for their purpose but quite the contrary; made them resolve (that it might not appear they had been dissapointed again in their inquiry) to give out in the best manner they could think of to gain with the Publick, that they had discover'd mighty abuses and grievances, and those chiefly committed by Marquis Du Quesne; to support this and digest it into such a method as they thought would be proper to serve their aim, took up a considerable time and as they wish'd, stop'd all other business; their way of proceeding in this was extraordinary and arbitrary, for as people now and then to please and court the Assembly, and Committee, and some of them in their cups advanced what cou'd by no means be made out or proved, if they afterwards scrupled (as some did) to be sworn to what they had so said under the notion of a volentary oath, those persons so refusing were committed to goal, and the first question upon any application for their releasment, was, whither they were disposed to swear, these terms upon which people were to be admitted to their liberty prevail'd with a few; but others of a more scrupelous conscience rather chose to continue some time longer in their confinement; This was done as was said to punish those who did trifle and prevaricate with the Committee and Assembly. Whether this assum'd authority led by passion be grounded upon precedents or supported by any law or custom and also what consequences it may hereafter be attended, I submit to your Lordships' judgment etc. As most of what they had to alledge against Marquis Du Quesne was what he had done in obedience to orders consider'd in Council which he had received and had by him to produce for his justification, so the Council was also fallen upon and represented amongst their complaints as authors of their grievances, after they had for form sake come to several resolutions concening these terrible hardships (as they were pleased to stile them). Marquis Du Quesne was advised to desire that he might be inform'd of what he had been charged with, which as yet was a secret to him, that he hoped his character would not stand impeach'd without giveing him leave to be heard, when he did not in the least doubt but that he cou'd justifie and vindicate all his proceedings, which when granted him, tho' after some struggle for it, and fix'd a time for his answer or appearance he plainly shew'd how ill grounded and malicious their prosecution against him was; but notwithstanding they adher'd to their former resolutions wherein the Council was not at all spar'd, but severely censured, these resolutions being regularly put in form, were brought to me by the Speaker and the whole House (and that there might be no opportunity to undeceive the Publick here) with an address to the King, to have those grievances redress'd, and another to me to lay them in the most effectuall way before H.M. But as the sense of the Council was that such a manner of proceeding and such a libel ought not to be countenanced, which they wou'd vote a scandelous one whensoever I should consult with them upon it; considering to what a temper people had been wrought up to, I thought it most advisable at least for a while to let this rest by me, and not give a new handle for any farther disturbances. When they found it was in vain for them to attempt looking out for any foundation, to build any just complaints upon, they than begun to enter upon business; but in such an extravagant manner as hardly can be described, they in a hurry past a bill for the continuance of their laws, and having hitherto trifled away their time, had none sufficient left to finish it so as to send it to the Council till late that very day when their laws expir'd, which made it impossible it should pass in time, by which one to revive their laws became necessary. As no pains had been lost always to contrive how to obstruct all publick affairs, and make the Government uneasy, they raised new jealousies in people's minds, and gave out that they had better be without laws than to have them renewed yearly, which (as they pretended to perceive) was the intention of the Ministry at Home; but this new started notion did not so immediately take as to prevent a bill to revive their laws, however they privatly took care (and it pass'd unobserv'd in the Assembly) to omitt what was material, which was a clause to prevent the old duty of eighteenpence pr. pound upon indigo (which is a prohibition) to be in force again as it must have been by reviving what they call the old revenue bill, to the great prejudice of the last new additionall revenue bill lately transmitted home, by the consideration of this their intentions were soon found out, of destroying if they cou'd this new additional revenue bill, as a matter gain'd by the Government too considerable for them to be eas'y under; the notion of popularity, to improve this, was used, by which such a ferment has been raised as has not yet been got the better of. The Council to rectifie the omission of the Assembly made an amendment to the bill, for reviveing the laws for a year, but the Assembly not thinking it proper to admit of an amendment made by the Council, to a money bill, tho' in their opinions the amendment was necessary, they pass'd a short supplementall explanatory bill to the same purpose, but as this did not answer their design having as yet gain'd nothing or gratified their desire they study'd how to proceed, if in their power, to perplex the Government, in which I must affirm, they were too much encouraged and assisted, particularly by such of the Council here whom I have before mentioned. The Assembly then having before them the Difficiency Act, which provides for the independent Companies, and was to make good my additional sallery, besides other publick expences, they thought that tacking an entire repeal of the additional revenue to so necessary a bill for the publick, and of advantage to me would certainly answer what they aim'd at, which made them tack a clause of repeal of all the duties granted by the additional Revenue bill and continued the same in this clause for a year contrary to the meaning and intention of the additional Revenue bill, which is that all the duties thereby granted should be perpetuall till H.M. pleasure was known, or at least not to be made temporary, but be in force till a law for perpetuating the revenue in lieu of it and the laws could be past. If they cou'd have succeeded, the Government hereafter must have been greatly distress'd, particularly whensoever the perpetuity bill for the revenue, and the laws, now under consideration at home, comes back, with H.M. instruction concerning the same; in their progress they show'd their resentment against my friends who opposed this tack, by expelling them the House, particularly the Speaker, and chose one Mr. Mellin in his room, who is fitt for their purpose; they likewise found fault with the person who acts as Agent at home, as having been negligent and remiss; so they brought in a bill to appoint another. As some of the Council who had been in all their consultations and caballs, had used their industry and interest to gain upon others, who of themselves mean well, to make them concur in their opinions, by representing several inconveniences in case they should be without laws, and the consequences of not having the Dimciency bill. So the Council pass'd those bills, and declar'd their sense, that it wou'd be proper they should have my assent. By this it lay all upon me to make a stand and to declare I cou'd not pass bills so fram'd, for which I gave my reasons as observations, to answers, they had given me to Queries, I had stated to the Council, (inclosed). As matters stood, and if practicable to bring them right again a short prorogation was thought necessary, and they were accordingly prorogued, but tho' a few upon this prorogation mett, yet no house could be gott to proceed to business, which has obliged me again, in hopes they may cool, to prorogue them to a further time. The fury they express'd for not obtaining this repeal, by which they thought, and intended, to bring the Government to an entire subjection, was surprising; I can't yet tell whether this ferment so raised etc. will be easily laid, tho' I intend to try them again and if obliged to disolve them, it will be against my inclinations; because the scarcity of proper persons here, or the number of such who for want of a publick spirit are not desirous to be chose, will make room for many if not most of those who I cou'd wish to be changed to be re-elected again, who will then in probability pretend to be more exasperated. What I must observe to your Lordships is, that those of the Council I have named, who chiefly promoted this took all the oppertunities to exclaim against it, and when it came to a tryall to have them peremptorily declare themselves, they kept out of the way. Mr. Laws, in his usuall manner, appear'd but for one moment, and Coll. Swimmer a day or two before unknown to me, and every body, left the town and went to his house in the country ; where he certainly will continue till his assistance be calPd for on the like occasion. Depending upon the countenance I expected to meet with at Home, and particularly from your Lordships, I have spar'd no pains to bring matters here into good order, and have in a great measure succeeded, but it would be too teadious for your Lordships, should I proceed to particulars, and not be so proper for me to enumerate. The troublesome difficulties one meets with here are full enough to struggle with, but if it be possible for the people so much to suspect that the least support is wanting, or that those who are inclined to oppose the Government, can have the least encouragment, all attempts to succeed in any thing recommended from Home may be laid aside. All what the Government here has to influence, is the people's expectations of being recommended to favours from home, if or whenever they can perceive they are to be come at, by any other channell it renders the Government here intirely insignificant, so as that it must be exposed to encounter or suffer whatever the most unaccountable tempers can forge. I need not make use of arguments to convince your Lordships since what has now happen'd, when everything was in a perfect state of tranquility, and likely to continue so, is sufficient to prove it; and to show by this unexpected change what advantages are taken by those who oppose the Government; and the consequences that attend, distinguishing those who can't by their behaviour lay any claim to the least favour. As I have already said that this may without any great difficulty be rectified, I don't question but that at furthest when the bill for perpetuating the revenue, and the laws, comes back (tho' I may meet with obstructions before) I shall then be able to do it, but then must represent that if the Government has not all the support, and countenance, that can be given to it from Home, it is to no purpose to hope for any success : I own my Lords if I had not been a witness to it my self I cou'd hardly have thought any thing cou'd so suddainly have work'd so great an alteration ; but when one is acquainted with the humours people here are commonly led by, 'tis not surprising ; and one ought never to be unguarded against, but constantly expect whatever is unreasonable. I must now also acquaint your Lordships, that I have not the least hopes or expectations to see any harmony in the Council; if the four I have before nam'd vizt. Capt. Gregory, Coll. Swimmer, Mr. Laws, and Mr. Stout do continue there, it can't be supposed any one will openly speak his mind, when he is sure every word that is said will be divulged, and amongst those who will give the worst turn they can to it, so as will best answer their design's ; and by those means prepare themselves to obstruct and undermine whatever is proposed, or projected; can it be proper for me to declare my sentiments before such people, or prudent to listen to the opinions and advice of those I can't trust; I cou'd inlarge further on this but am confident the mentioning of it is sufficient. I do therefore earnestly desire this may speedily be taken into consideration, so that this difficulty may be removed; which I hope (tho' I have reason to apprehend it from the stop it may give a publick business) I shall not be compel'd to take upon me before I can hear from your Lordships, for which purpose I shall send the names of the properest persons I know or can think of inclosed. If your Lordships at any time should disapprove any of my proceedings, I shall always with pleasure, upon the least intimation try to rectifie what may be thought wrong, what I aim at, and do for H.M. servise press for is that people here may not think their interest at Home ought to enter in competition with mine, whilst entrusted here by H.M. By settleing the Council here so as that a confidence may be reposed in one another, by having the Government countenanced and supported at Home so as that people here may be sensible of it, and by curing the people of their groundless jealousies and apprehensions concerning the renewing of their laws, which they are made to believe is intended now, no otherways than annually; but will be removed as I hope soon by receiving H.M. instructions concerning the perpetuity bill etc. When this is done, wherein I can't foresee any great difficulty at Home, I don't question but that I shall get the better of all those I can meet with here, and disperse all those clouds, which at present stand in the way. In the mean time, as no manner of inconveniency has happen'd to the Government, or the People here for want of the expired laws: so no care or application of mine shall be wanting, to keep every thing in the same regular order as they have been now for above these two months, and if possible my attention shall every day increase to find out what may be for H.M. servise, and at the same time for the tranquility and advantage of those in this Island. Apologises for length of letter and desires that all practicable dispatch may be given to what is under consideration etc. P.S. Must wait till next opportunity to send Minutes of Council and Assembly and Answers to the Board's Queries etc. Signed, Portland. Endorsed, Recd. 25th Feb., Read 4th March, 1725/6. Dated December the [—]. But see Jan. 23, 1726, and following letter. 14 large pp. Enclosed,
810. i. Queries by H.E. with replies by the Council of Jamaica and H.E.'s observations thereupon relating to the Deficiency Bill. Endorsed, Recd. 25th Feb., 1725/6 .12 1/2 pp.
810. ii. H.E.'s Speech to the Council and Assembly of Jamaica, 14th Sept. and 19th Nov., 1725, with Addresses and Answers by the Council and Assembly-reFlating to the continuance of the Revenue and Laws etc. Endorsed as preceding. 15 3/4 pp.
810. iii. Persons recommended for Councillors:—William Needham, formerly Chief Justice and Speaker etc. Richard Elleston, formerly of the Council, Gabriel Marquis Du Quesne, William Monk, Attorney General. Valentine Mumbee, senr., Thomas Fearon, John Morant, son of the Councillor who has recently died, and Henry Dawkins are of good estate and character etc. Same endorsement. 1 p. [C.O. 137, 16. ff. 147–153v, 154v–157, 158–161, 162v–170v, 172v, 173, 174v]
Dec. 18.
811. Governor the Duke of Portland to the Duke of Newcastle. When your Grace sees such a long letter, as what I now send over, you'll be surpris'd I should have any thing left to trouble you with, but my Lord, tho I am unwilling, yett, as matters stand here, and may for want of notice or care grow worse, I can't avoid itt, hopeing also that what I may say, may be the means to rectifie att present, and for the future prevent, the like unhappy and unforeseen turns. I therefore must represent, in the strongest and most effectuall manner, how necessary it is, from the consequences people here, are allways ready to draw, from the most minute thing done att home, and who are constantly watching to lay hold of what may serve their unreasonable and undecent purpose, that they should be made sencible (so as to be convinc'd) that it is to be expected att home, a just reguard should be had here for H.M. Government, and be satisfied that a dutifull behaviour to H.M. is the only way to obtain favours, not to take their words for it, but bring the recommendation with them, of him, who as being trusted by H.M. and has the honour to represent him here, is, and must be the best judge of their merit and behaviour. But as the Lords Commrs. for Trade and Plantions, to oblige some friends, (who can't give any satisfaction, how proper for H.M. service) distinguish persons, without any information of their characters from hence, gives grounds to have it suspected, that upon application at home, favours can be obtain'd, by other channels than by deserving them from the Government, and that signified att home; all power, or more properly, the only influence, one can have here, is gone and lost; Yr. Grace can very well judge, what effect it must have, to see worthless wretchess tryumph over the Government, and bragg (using their own words) of their equall att least, if not a superior interest at home; H.M. authority is not only there by grosly insulted, but the treatment I am expos'd to, is intolerable. It is not att all imaginary, or to gain any private view. I hope it can't be suppos'd I can, or realy worth my while, to have any, but as this makes it intirely impossible to answer for the success of any thing expected from me, or committed to my charge, I can't be silent, and must earnestly entreat yr. Gee. that some proper method may be found out and us'd to redress this grievance (which I aprehended, before I came away, but was assur'd should never happen). As by what has been lately done att home, the event of affairs is made doubtfull, however hope they may, and will change for the better, in case, what has been done, and what is offer'd by me, concerning the Councellors, be rectified with speed, and also what I have so fully mention'd in my other letter be taken into consideration and dispatch'd. What I have there in at length sett forth, supports what I now in this am oblig'd to apply to yr. Gee. for. The Lords of the Admiralty take likewise opportunities (as they give way to private recommendations, intended for secret ends) to make me uneasie, by appointing persons in stations, (in a manner under my inspection, by virtue of my commission, instructions, and the English laws, as belonging to the Admiralty Court) that are declar'd opposers to the Government, and value themselves upon't, and particularly by suporting them in such a manner, as if intended in contradiction to me, what reason their Lordsps. can have for it, I can't comprehend, when nothing is wanting in my inclinations, nor shall it be, as far as it is in my power to do what may be most agreable to them, but to see undeserving persons, chose by them, and also others, I had, (to encourage, upon the recommendation they brought) appointed my self, and finding afterwards they were not to be trusted, and defficient in their duty, remov'd, come, and with haughtiness claim, to be restor'd, as if they almost expected I should acknowledge my error in what I had done, and make some sort of excuse for it, is surprising and I beleive not intended; No Government by this can support any decorum, it exposes me to such a sort of behaviour, in many respects, as I have never been us'd to, or have ever mett with; such as no man of honour can be easie, whilst it does continue. As I wish for nothing more, than to give all the satisfaction that can reasonably be expected of me, I can't see, what can prevent or obstruct having these matters settel'd so, as that the dignity of H.M. goverment may be supported and countenane'd, and not by any accidentall transaction be made uneasie, to the satisfaction of those who laugh, and are constantly ready to fly in the face, of authority: tho these are what appears of little or no moment att home, however are attended with bad consequences here, where one has to many difficulties already to struggle with, considering the strange, unreasonable and unacountable tempers this place, produces. I think some apology would be necessary for transgressing so much on yr. Gees, time and patience, but the necessity of sending the best and fullest informations I can, and my promise to avoid troubling yr. Grace when not compell'd, I hope will plead my excuse etc. Signed, Portland. Endorsed, Rd. 2nd March, 1725. Holograph. 4 pp. Enclosed,
811. i. Same to Same. Dec. 18. Acknowledges letter of 5th May and 1st June, his recommendation of Mr. Moses Montell, brother in law to Mr. Corbiere, and H.M. Instruction for continuing the Revenue Act and laws etc. Continues :—I heartily wish that the bill for perpetuating them had come over instead of it, the want of which has lately been attended with scruples and jealousies, as your Grace will find by what is to follow, and you will also judge by that, how necessary it is for H.M. service, and the publick tranquility, that whatever concerns the Government, should at least be done by their privity and knowledge, if not by their recommendation; since the consequence of one accidentall wrong step at home, tho' unknown there, is attended with the utmost confusion, and by the use that is made of it here, exposes the Government and leaves it intirely destitute etc. Continues as covering letter to Board of Trade supra, from line 6. Signed, Portland.
811. ii. Duplicate and abstracts of preceding. Endorsed, Rd. Feb. 26, and dated Dec. —.
811. iii, iv. Duplicates of No. 810, iii.
811. v. Duplicate of No. 810, ii.
811. vi. Duplicate of No. 810, I [C.O. 137, 52. ff. 155–165, 167–176v, 178–179,181–188v, 190, 192–198.]
Dec. 18. 812. Address of Council of S. Carolina to the Duke of Newcastle. They have been obliged to pass a bill for the support of the Government in the form sent up by the Assembly, who deny the right of the Council to amend a money bill etc. Ask that H.M. will signify his pleasure on this point. Signed, Ra. Izard, Wm. Bull, James Kinloch, Char. Hart, Benja. Schenkingh, A. Skene. Endorsed, Rd. July 19, 1727. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 383. No. 34.]
Dec. 20.
813. President Middleton to the Duke of Newcastle. Refers to letter of 10th Sept., and acknowledges receipt of his Grace's commands thereon etc. Continues: The receipt of which I have not communicated to the Spanish Govr., knowing very well my own incapacity to transact in an affair of so much moment etc., and beleiving that in a very small time we shall have the honour and happiness of H.E. General Nicholson's return etc., or another Governor, by whom that affair would be better managed etc. Pursuant to the desire of H.M. Council (as you will see by their Address to me) I transmitt to your Grace a letter from those Gentlemen with copies of the several original messages from the lower house of Assembly to them, relating to the priviledge in passing the tax bill. I also send your Grace a copy of what I said to them on the Prorogation. I humbly entreat your Grace to lay the whole affair before H.M. that we may receive his Royal orders thereon to prevent the like disputes for the future. I doubt not but that the papers that will be delivered herewith to your Grace, will sett this matter in so true a light, that I may be fully enabled to justifye H.M. Council and thereby put a stop to all such unjust and unwarrantable cavills hereafter. Signed, Ar. Middleton. Endorsed, Rd. 25th Feb. 1 3/4 pp. Enclosed,
813. i. Address of Council of S. Carolina to the Duke of Newcastle. Charles-Town, 20th Dec, 1725. By the 35th Article of H.M. Instructions to H.E. Francis Nicholson, H.M. Council of this Province are invested with a power of framing altering and amending mony bills; but the Members of the Lower House of Assembly have not only by several messages denyed us any such power; contrary to the King's instruccons and the constant practice of this Province; but have by a vote of their House declared that the Members of H.M. Councill here, have no power to make any alterations to a Tax Bill. Notwithstanding we look upon the same as detrimental to H.M. Royal Prerogative; We have been obliged to give our assent to an Act for raising a tax on the inhabitants of this Province for the support thereof; whereby we have (by the Lower House of Assembly) been put upon the necessity of either rejecting the same, or passing it after their own manner. We do assure your Grace that the apprehension we were under of the confusion that must have ensued upon rejecting a bill that provided for the support of the Governmt, was the only inducemt. for our giving our assent thereto; and we hope that H.M. will please to give it a favourable construction. Enclose messages that have passed between the two Houses on that subject. Continue :—We hope that from your Graces goodness you will be pleased to lay this affair before H.M., and that he will be graciously pleased to signifye his Royal pleasure herein for the preventing all disputes of this nature that may arise for the future. Signed, at the desire of H.M. Councill, Rd. Izard. Endorsed, Rd. 25th Feb. 3 pp. [C.O. 5, 387. Nos. 58, 58. i.]
Dec. 22.
814. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Justices. Representation on petition of Isaac Miranda and Fernando da Costa (v C.S.P., 26th May, 1723.) Enclose transcript of proceedings in the Court of Admiralty transmitted by the Governor of Jamaica. Continue: We shall not take upon us to enter into the legality of the sentence or the nature of the circumstances that attended the seizure or condemnation of the petitioner's effects, these matters being cognizable only by appeal either to H.M. in Council or to His High Court of Admiralty here; But we beg leave to aqt. your Excellencies that in our humble opinion, indigo being a necessary material in many of our manufactures, all possible incouragemt. should be given to the importation thereof into Great Britain. [C.O. 138, 17. pp. 52–54.]
Dec. 23.
815. Mr. Attorney General to Mr. Popple. I received your letter (Dec. 15) to Mr. Sollicitor General and myself reminding us of the reference of papers transmitted by Lt. Governor Drisdale. We have long ago considered those papers, so far as it was possible for us to doe without being attended by the agents of the parties concerned, but a caveat having been entred in my office on the behalf of Col. Spots wood, who claims a property in the matters in question, against any report being made without his being heard according to the common course of proceeding, no report could be made till he had an opportunity of laying his objections before us. The method of doing this is for the Agent of the Province to summon the party entring the caveat to attend to make out his objections at a time appointed, and then both sides may be heard, or if nobody attends on the behalf of the person entring the caveat a report will be made ex parte. The want of doing this has occasioned the delay etc. Requests that the Agent, who appears not to have received any orders from his principalls covering this affair, may be instructed to wait upon him in order to summon Col. Spotswood to attend upon his caveat etc. Signed, P. Yorke. Endorsed, Recd. 23rd Dec, 1725, Read 12th Jan., 1725/6. 11/3 pp. [C.O. 5, 1319. ff 232, 232v, 233v]
Dec. 24.
New York.
816. Governor Burnet to the Duke of Newcastle. Refers to enclosure following. Continues:—Tho' the Assembly could not be prevail'd with to provide for a new revenue (v 17th Nov.), yet they very heartily came into renewing all the Acts to prohibit the trade for Indian goods to Canada, and for promoting a trade with the remote nations of Indians, which they are convinced are of great benefit to the Province, by repeated experience. This is the only Act of moment which was then (Nov.) passed, etc. Signed, W. Burnet. Endorsed, R. 6th Feb. 1 3/4 pp. Enclosed,
816. i. Duplicate of following. [C.O. 5, 1092. Nos. 47, 47.i.]
Dec. 24.
New York.
817. Governor Burnet to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I had not the honour of receiving your Lordships' letter of 4th May till the 11th of this month, which I humbly submit to your Lordships' inquiry etc. Encloses and reports upon three public Acts and one private Act passed in November, and Sessional papers. Encloses following to show increases due to the Indian Trade Acts. Set out, N. Y. Col. Docs. V. pp. 772, 773. Signed, W. Burnet. Endorsed, Recd. 5th Feb., Read 23rd June, 1726. 5 pp. Enclosed,
1725. 817. i. Imports of New York, and exports of beaver and furs, 1725. Set out, N. Y. Col. Docs. V. p. 774. Endorsed, Recd. 5th Feb., 1726. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 1054. ff 12–14, 15v, 18v–19v]
Dec. 24.
New York.
818. Same to Mr. Popple. Hopes he will find out by what neglect of the post-office or elsewhere the letter referred to in preceding was so long mislaid. Refers to enclosures, v preceding. Signed and endorsed as preceding. Holograph. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1054. ff. 16, 17v]
Dec. 25. 819. Petty Expenses of the Board of Trade, Michaelmas to Christmas. £148 7s.d. Stationer's bill, £56 14s. 6d., Postage, £27 0s. 11d. Woods and coals, £33 1s. 5d. (including "Scots' coales at 33s. p. tonn from the Poole"). Endorsed, Read, Jan. 7, 1725/6. 5¼ pp. [C.O. 388, 78. ff. 134, 135v–139, 140v]
Dec. 30.
820. Governor the Earl of Orkney to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Recommends Mr. Grymes, as Nov. 17. Signed, Orkney. Endorsed, Recd. 12th, Read 14th Jan., 1725/6 Holograph. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1319. ff. 238, 239v]
[Dec. 30.] 821. Petition of James Douglas, of London, merchant, to the Lords Justices. In behalf of Jeremiah Browne of St. Kitts, prays that he may be confirmed in possession of some land in the late French part of St. Kitts, purchased by him in 1713 from Marmaduke Bacheler and Mary his wife, widow of Ralph Willet. Governor Hart threatens to make grants of the remainder of these lands (80 acres), besides the grant of 40 acres to John Burnet, now depending before the Committee for hearing appeals. 1 p. Overleaf
821. i. The Lords Justices refer this petition to the Council of Trade and Plantations for their report. Whitehall, 30th Dec., 1725. Signed, Ch. Delafaye. Endorsed, Recd. 10th. Read 16th Feb., 1725/6 1 1/2 pp. [C.O. 152, 15. ff 231, 231v, 232v]