America and West Indies: January 1726

Pages 1-19

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 35, 1726-1727. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1936.

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January 1726

Jan. 6.
1. Governor Hart to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Refers to a letter of 8th Oct., "on several transactions of this Government for your information, which I recommended to my friend Major Holmes, one of the Council of this Island, to whom I gave instructions to speak to several particulars (with your Lordships' permission) which cou'd not be so well communicated in writing: having all confidence in that Gentleman's integrity and capacity, and whose character and fortune (having in this Island £3000 per annum) placed him above the suspicion of acting any thing but what was for the honour and benefit of H.M. service ; for which no man had a more affectionate zeal: But to my great misfortune I have late advice that, that worthy Gentleman died soon after his arrival" etc. Continues:—As I am lately arriv'd from Antegoa, and finding the ship by which this goes, ready to sail, which I could not detain longer without apparent damage, I must humbly pray your Lordships' patience for about three weeks to procure duplicates of such papers which I committed to Major Holmes' charge. In the mean time, submits some short intimation of what I had the honour to write etc. In September past there being but six Councellors on this Island, on the death of Mr. Step. Duport, I nominated Charles Pym Esq. in his place, and accordingly swore him into the Council. This Gentleman is every way qualified for that place. As he was Major Holmes' brother in law, I recommended it to him etc. But as Major Holmes is dead, I humbly desire your Lordships will now recommend him to be continued. And also pray your Lordships' favour that Thomas Bridgwater Esq. may succeed Major Holmes. This Gentleman has been long Judge of Nevis where he has a good estate : But resides now in St. Christophers on some of the French lands ; He is one of long experience in business, and whose advice will be of great use in the Council etc. On 26th Sept. (tho' in a very bad circumstance of health) I went up to Nevis in a sloop with about 100 persons on board at my own expence, having advice that there was an intended insurrection of the negroes there, to destroy all the inhabitants : which seasonable and unexpected releif from me, wrought so much upon the affections of the people of that Island in general, that they receiv'd me with the greatest transports of joy. And having first examin'd into the intended insurrection of the negroes, who were sufficiently terryfied by the execution of two of them that were burnt, and by the veiw of that quick relief I was capable of giving the inhabitants in any distress from them ; I then proceeded to call the Council and Assembly together, and spoke to them in terms which I thought wou'd be most agreeable, and granted them everything they cou'd reasonably desire from me, without any veiw to my interest: which they were extreamly pleas'd with, and answer'd my Speech in a very affectionate manner, and having resided in that Island some time, and setled all their affairs, I left them in these good inclinations which they still continue to me. Soon after my arrival at St. Christophers from Nevis being inform'd that the Council of Antegoa (for the Assembly were, and are still for making provission for my necessary support) had consented to take me an unfurnish'd house without any other conveniency, but the bare walls and water, I repair'd to that Island, tho' in so weak a condition from eight months sickness, that I cou'd not support myself to walk, but with pain and difficulty, but as I was inform'd there was much buissness in the Chancery Court, I laid aside all other considerations, to expedite and distribute Justice therein ; which both my duty and inclination prompts me neither to deny nor delay ; Accordingly I remain'd there, more than two months, untill all the buissness of that Court was determind. Yet I cannot help representing that my expence under the circumstance I am in, from the resolutions of some of the Gentlemen of the Council of that Island, are very unequal to my present appointments; this last voyage to Antegoa, and the one I made last year, having cost me full £800 sterling : and yet I have not receiv'd one shilling from the publick of that Island for two years past. But as I am now confin'd in point of time, I hope I shall be able to represent that matter in such manner in my next, as may be consider'd as a proper object for redress and releif. I presume it may not be improper to acquaint your Lordships, that I found the most obliging treatment from the inhabitants of Antegoa at my last being there ; and many lamented their want of power to reimburse me the money I expended in supporting the honour of H.M. Commission ; for I never abated of maintaining that port due to it, whatever it cost, were there no other consideration, besides that of not having His Governor of the Leeward Islands fall into contempt of the neighbouring Governments, viz. : the French, Spanish, Dutch and Danes etc. I cou'd perceive a very different demeanor to me in the Gentlemen of the Council to what it has been formerly, especially from Col. Crump and Lt. Col. Cochran : And I am perswaded it gives them sufficient concern that they have carryed matters those lengths they have done. At the same time there are few of them who have met those advances for a reconciliation I have made and invited them to ; tho' they were such as I cou'd not goe farther in, without prostituting the honour of H.M. Commission, and by consequence, injuring my own charracter. So that in my humble opinion, which is offer'd with the greatest defference to your Lordships' superiour judgment, these Gentlemen of the Council of Antegoa, do not care to acknowledge any mistakes they may have made (tho' I am ready to subscribe, on my part, against the doctrine of infallibility) and so are unwilling to retract their errors. Yet it is probable were there some measures taken to let the Council know that they are not placed there meerly to oppose their Governor in everything he advances, but to advise him with decency, and assist him with vigour in what may be for H.M. service, and the good of the Colony, it may possibly have a very happy and desirable effect. But how far your Lordships will think proper to interpose in this matter (which is offer'd by me purely for peace sake) or whether your Lordships will find it necessary to consider my former Representation of their conduct, is submitted with the greatest resignation to your Lordships' pleasure and determination etc. Continues:—The first disaffection I observ'd in any of the Gentlemen of the Council to me, was, something more than two years past, when three causes were depending in the Chancery Court there, in which a certain family was concern'd, who are allied to almost the whole Island, or at least to such whose fortunes give them the appelation of Gentlemen, tho' some worthy persons of that family have different sentiments : and as I found a great deal of iniquity in these causes, so I gave my opinion with freedom on the equitable side, and how just and approv'd soever my judgment was; yet I have reason to remember the effects of their resentments, both from the indignities that have been offer'd me in point of authority, and a total deprivation of that support which H.M. graciously thought necessary by His Instruction, and which the Assembly propos'd and constantly recomended, and which I sensibly feel the want of in my private fortunes, etc. I am under a very mortifying discouragment in prosecuting that duty incumbent on me by my Instructions to represent to your Lordships my sentiments of men and things within my Government. But I was extreamly surpriz'd to find that my letters to your Lordships relating to the behaviour of the Council of Antegoa, particularly what related to Col. Crump and Cochran, were not only handed about that Island, but I was as also upbraided (with my advice to your Lordships) in the Council etc. : and I find since, that the substance of my letters to your Lordships, are form'd into Articles against me ; at the same time your Lordship's answers to me were never deliver'd till eight months after date, tho' the purport was very well known at Antegoa: And as your Lordships were pleas'd in that answer to define my power of suspending Councillors, they from thence took a handle in an insulting manner to insinuate that it was a much easier matter to remove a Governor than a Councillor: and from hence they made a judgment of their own strength and my weakness, which was the foundation of their very, very extraordinary behaviour to me. Major Holmes had a power from me to name persons to your Lordships who I had reason to suspect of giving these intelligences. But I shall now weave [? waive] that, and to prevent any future mischeif to H.M. service of this kind, which I am sure will meet with all discountenance from your Lordships' justice, I in very humble manner submit it to your Lordships, whether any letters or papers transmitted by the respective Governors of the Plantations, to your Lordships, ought to issue out of your Office, but by your special licence and command. I come now to say something of the Articles exhibited against me (by Mr. Nevine and Mr. Wavel Smith, the pretended Agents for the inhabitants of the Leeward Islands, tho' they are utterly disavow'd as such by persons of all sorts and sises in these Islands) in the name of several persons trading to, and inhabiting here : yet notwithstanding the industry of procuring hands to the petition, there are not above two or three of any account who have subscrib'd it, and make but twenty one in all, who are ignorant of the charge. The principal merchants are many in number, refusing to sign it, and they have advis'd of the injustice intended me. I shou'd immediately answer these Articles, agreeable to the Order of their Excellencies the Lords Justices ; but that I have only receiv'd copys of them from my correspondents, and wait to have an authentick order serv'd on me; tho' if I can make any judgment on these Articles which are easy for me to confute, and of the advice I have that the persons who exhibited them, do not intend to prosecute them any further, being disappointed of their grand design, of my immediate removal, by their clamourous charge against me, agreeable to the modesty of their petition, which was, first to have me condemn'd and remov'd, and then I was at liberty to clear myself, after the loss of my imployment, in what manner I pleas'd. I am full of the most gratefull acknowledgements, for the justice has been done me by your Lordships in permitting me to be heard to these complaints against me : And I hope to demean myself in such manner, as not only to receive your approbation as a faithful servant to H.M., but as one that is ambitious of being in your Lordships personal esteem. Whilst I was at Antegoa died Col. John Hamilton, one of the Council etc. Recommends Mr. Francis Carlile to succeed him, a gentleman of very good capacity and plentiful fortune etc. Mr. Cochran and Mr. Irish two of the Council of Mountserrat, are lately dead, Mr. John Doily and Mr. John White, in my humble opinion are two of the fittest persons in that Island to succeed them. In Nevis Mr. Richard Abbot has been some time dead, and beg leave to recomend Mr. Cary Broadbelt to supply his place. Since my writing this letter, I am inform'd Colonel Crump of the Council of Antegoa lyes in the agonies of death : If that Gentleman die, (which I have reason to regret from his late behaviour to me) I beg leave to recomend Mr. Edward Chester junior to supply his place, who is a worthy honest man ; He is now leaving off trade, which he has follow'd for many years in an eminent manner, to enjoy the fruits of his labours in an easy fortune. My Lords, I am inform'd from credible hands, that there will be very great application made to your Lordships, and elsewhere, for other persons to succeed etc.; But I beg leave to assure your Lordships, if they shou'd gain their points, it will alwaies keep up a spirit of contention and confusion in the Council there, to the prejudice of H.M. service, and the dishonour of His Governor in Chief, be he who he will: and therefore I humbly intreat your Lordships will oppose all such applications, at least till I can offer my reasons why they shou'd not be appointed etc. Signed, Jo. Hart. Endorsed, Reed. 29th, Read 30th March, 1726. 10¾ pp. [CO. 152, 15. ff. 237–243v.]
Jan. 7.
2. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury. Enclose Office accounts from Midsummer to Christmas, 1725. There was then three months salary due to the Secretary and other officers etc. Accounts, certified, annexed, v. Journal of Council. [CO. 389, 37, pp. 256–258.]
Jan. 7. 3. John Hammerton to General Nicholson. Begs him to attend at the Duke of Newcastle's Office, when he will present him with a memorial on his affair, as Sir Robert Walpole has ordered him to do etc. Signed, John Hammerton. Addressed. 1 p. [CO. 5, 383. No. 19.]
[? Jan. 8.] 4. Lt. Governor Dummer to the Council of Trade and Plantations. By a ship lately arrived I received from their Excellencies the Lords Justices an Instruction for my future proceeding with respect to a Synod proposed to be held by the Ministers of this Province which shall be punctually obeyed etc. Their Lordships were also pleased to censure the proceedings already had in that affair. Wherefore I think myself obliged to acquaint your Lordships that I did not pass a consen for a Synod but only to a vote of the Councill and Assembly referring the consideration thereof to the next Sessions. Refers to Minutes. Continues:—I was then of opinion it would not come on the carpett again, as it never did notwithstanding the present Sessions had been sitting for some weeks before their Lordships orders concerning the same was received. Nevertheless I should have taken myself obliged to have asked your Lordships directions therein, if I had apprehended it to be of a new and extraordinary nature. But I must observe that a vote in the same words was past on the like occasion by H.M. Councill here in the year 1715 and never as I have heard of censured by your Lordships. And here I humbly take leave to say in behalf of the Ministers of this Province, that I know them to be a body of men most loyal, and inviolably attacht to H.M. and His illustrious House, and therefore I did not apprehend any inconveniencys could arise from their Assembling, especially since they make no pretensions that I know of to do any acts of authority in such meetings tho' they call them by the name of Synods ; I pray your Ldships will think favourably of any omission I may have been charged with on this occasion, assuring you I have made no willfull mistakes, and shall always endeavour to the utmost of my power diligently and faithfully to serve H.M. while I have the honour to represent his person etc. I have lately concluded a Treaty of Pacification with the Delegates for all the Tribes of Indians that have been engaged in the late warr with this Government, which Treaty is to be ratify'd in the presence of their whole body in May next, and I think it is settled on such foundations as promise a more lasting peace than we have ever yet enjoyed, and that it will accordingly very much promote H.M. interest in this part of the world. Encloses Treaty. As soon as the Sessions of the Generall Assembly now sitting is ended I shall give your Lordships an account of all other matters of consequence in the publick affairs. Signed, Wm. Dummer. Endorsed, Recd. 25th Feb., Read 26th April, 1726. 3 pp. Enclosed,
4. i. ii. Copies of Nos. ii., iii. following. [CO., 5, 869. ff. 232–233, 235–239v.]
Jan. 8.
5. Lt. Governor Dummer to [? the Duke of Newcastle]. The 13th day of December I received your Grace's letter of Instructions, with the explanatory Charter H.M. has been graciously pleased to grant to this Province and the next day our Generall Assembly being together, in the Councill Chamber the same was read to them by the Secretary, and then I delivered it to the Speaker of the Representatives, after a short Speech to them on the occasion, and I am sorrey I can't yett give your Grace an account, of their proceedings thereon, they being at present under an adjournment of a week, in order to their calling in their absent Members and then I hope I shall be able to give a good account thereof etc. Refers to Treaty with Indians as in preceding. Signed, Wm. Dummer. Endorsed, Rd. Febry. 26th. l½ pp. Enclosed,
5. i. Conferences had at the Council Chamber in Boston between the Lt. Governor and Council, and Loron and Ahanquid (Indians sent from the Penobscot Tribe) July 28th—Aug. 2, 1725. Copy. 8½ pp.
5. ii. The Submission and Agreement of the Delegates of the Eastern Indians (vizt. the Penobscot, Naridgwalk, St. Johns, Caple Sables and other tribes inhabiting within H.M. Territorys of New England and Nova Scotia) with H.M. Governments of the Massachusetts Bay, New Hampshire and Nova Scotia. Boston, 15th Dec, 1725. Signed, Sauguaaram, als. Loron, Arexus, Francois Xavier, Meganumbe, (totem marks). Copy. 4 pp.
5. iii. Terms granted to the Eastern Indians. Same date. Signed, Wm. Dummer. Copy. 2¼ pp.
5. iv. Copy of Conference between Delegates of the Indian tribes and Commissioners appointed by the Lt. Governor to treat with them concerning a peace etc. 16th Nov., 1725. 21 pp. [CO. 5, 898. Nos. 36, 36. i.–iv.]
Jan. 13.
6. Mr. Popple to Mr. Fane. Encloses copies of papers relating to Act of Jamaica, for encouraging the speedy settling of Pera Plantation etc. Concludes :—My Lords Commissioners desire that you hear the several parties etc. and send their Lorps. a full state of this affair as soon as possibly you can. [CO. 138, 17. pp. 54, 55.]
Jan. 13.
7. President Middleton to Governor Nicholson. I was out of town, when the account of the burning of Fort King George came so that I could not give your Excellcy. so early an account of that, as otherwise I should have done ; the fire began in one of the Serjeant houses, and being covered with palmeto ; there was no stopping of it; and all the other houses being built of wood, took fire, and are consumed ; and the walls of the Fort being also of wood; and much decayed, took fire, and burnt down to a very little ; so that those poor people are now exposed to the weather; and every thing they have ; they lost also most of their provisions ; but I have taken care to supply them. I am in the greatest streight imaginable, to know how to get convenient houses ; and the fort rebuilt; having no power to putt workmen to work, or to draw for their pay etc. I shall in a few days call the Assembly ; and try if they will advance ; on the credit of the Government at home, two or three thousand pounds to go on with building again the houses ; and putt the fort in some repair, till I can hear from your Excellency. What success I may have in this ; I cant yet say; you know how that affair stands with our Assembly; but I will do my duty to the best of my power. I have had a continual plague and trouble with those people of the fort ever since your departure. I here enclose the Lieutenant's letter on that affair, by which you will see how it happened; and how turbulent the soldiers are. The twelve that deserted the Garrison, and went to St. Augustine, I have heard nothing of since; I beg your Excellcy. will speedily do something in this affair; and that when a new fort shall be built, it may be on the Island at the entrance of the River. Signed, Ax. Middleton. 1 p. Enclosed,
7. i. Proclamation by President Middleton, 13th Jan., summoning the Assembly to meet 1st Feb. Copy. ¾ p. [CO. 5, 387. Nos. 51, 51. i.]
Jan. 14. 8. Deposition of Robert Assheton Esq. and Patrick Baird of Philadelphia. In pursuance of directions given them by Lt. Governor Sir W. Keith, deponents delivered to Dr. Richard Welton H.M. Writ of Privy Seal, on 12 inst. etc. Signed, Rob. Assheton, Patrick Baird. Sworn before Sir W. Keith. Imprint of Seal of Pennsylvania. Recorded at the Rolls Office at Philadelphia, in Patent Book A Vol. 6. page 17 etc., Cha. Brookden, Maj. Rot. Dept. etc. 1 p. Torn. [CO. 5, 1233. No. 63.]
Jan. 14.
9. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Recommend John Grimes for the Council of Virginia in the room of Colo. John Lewis deed. [CO. 5, 1365. p. 286.]
[Jan. 14.] 10. Mr. Stevensone to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Suggests a further report upon draught of Revenue bill of Jamaica in view of the Governor's report of 30th Dec. 1724 and Minutes of Council and Assembly showing that the funds allotted will effectually answer the sum granted etc. Endorsed, Recd., Read 14th Jan., 1725/6. ¾ p. Enclosed,
10. i. Speech of Governor the Duke of Portland to the Council and Assembly of Jamaica. Same endorsement. Copy. 3¼ pp.
10. ii., iii. Replies of Council and of Assembly to preceding, with H.E.'s answers. Same endorsement. Printed. 2 pp. [CO. 137, 16. ff. 133–135, 136v., 137, 138–138v.]
Jan. 18.
N. England.
11. Lt. Governor Dummer to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I did myselfe the honour of writing to you by a ship that saild about ten dayes since and then I inclosed you the articles of submission of our late Indian enimys to His Sacred Majesty King George which I hope is done to your Lordships satisfaction and that it will bee approved by H.M. etc. The General Assembly have dutyfully accepted H.M. Royal Explanatory Charter a copy of their vote for the same is herewith inclosed. Upon which occation they have humbly addrest H.M. and have sent it to their Agent Mr. Dummer to be presented accordingly. All the votes, acts and orders of this Assembly shall be forwarded to your Lordships by the first conveyence after they can be carefully examind and drawn fair by the Secretary etc. Signed, Wm. Dummer. Endorsed, Recd. 26th March, Read 26th April, 1726. 1 p. Enclosed,
11. i. Vote of Council and Assembly of the Massachusetts Bay accepting H.M. Explanatory Charter relating to the choice of a Speaker and power of adjournment. 15th Jan., 1725(6). Copy. 1½ pp. [CO. 5, 869. ff. 226, 227, 228, 228v., 231v.]
Jan. 18.
Boston, N. England.
12. Lt. Gov. Dummer to [? the Duke of Newcastle]. Encloses following. Signed, Wm. Dummer. Endorsed, Rd. 26th March. 1 p. Enclosed,
12. i. Duplicate of preceding enclosure. [CO. 5, 898. Nos. 37, 37. i.]
Jan. 18. 13. Governor Philipps to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Recapitulates former Memorial (v. 26th Feb. and 20th May, 1724), which was referred to the Board, but made no further progress, hoping that this may prove a more favourable opportunity, the Sessions of Parliament now approaching etc. Signed, R. Philipps. Endorsed, Recd. 18th, Read 27th Jan., 1725/6. 2½ pp. [CO. 217, 4. ff. 296–297v.]
Jan. 20. 14. Mr. Attorney and Mr. Solicitor General to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Report their opinion in reply to the queries submitted by Lt. Governor Drysdale, 6th June, 1724, as to the interpretation of the Lords Justices' order of 6th Aug., 1723, concerning lands in the new counties in Virginia. Signed, P. Yorke, C. Wearg. 8¾ pp. Enclosed,
14. i. Copy of Lt. Gov. Drysdale's queries June 6th, 1724.
14. ii. Copy of Order of Lords Justices 6th Aug., 1723.
14. iii. Copy of Lt. Gov. Drysdale's letter of 6th June, 1724.
14. iv.–vi. Copies of encl. ii.–iv. in preceding.
14. vii. Extract from Govr. Lord Orkney's Commission. 2½ pp.
14. viii. Extract from Act of Virginia, 1710, for settling the titles and bounds of lands. l¼ pp
14. ix. The case of Col. Spotswood in answer to "Lt.–Governor Drysdale's fallacious representation" etc. Cf. June 16, 1724. 4 closely written pp.
14. x. Col. Spotswood's replies to Lt.–Governor Drysdale's queries. 2½ pp.
14. xi. Col. Spotswood's replies to Lt.–Governor Drysdale's letter of 6th June, 1724, paragraph by paragraph. 3 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 29th Jan., 1725/6, Read 2nd Feb., 1725/6. [CO. 5, 1319. ff. 240–244, 246–248v., 250–251, 252–255, 256–260v., 262–263, 264, 264v., 266–269, 270–271v.]
Jan. 22.
Charles Town.
15. Henry Hargrave to Governor Nicholson. Encloses Journal of Assembly to 18th Dec., five Acts, and an account of the dismal condition of the Garrison etc. Signed, Hen. Hargrave. Addressed. 1 p. [CO. 5, 387. No. 59.]
Jan. 23.
Jamaica, Spanish Town.
16. Governor the Duke of Portland to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Having by the last opportunity of the 18th of December, which was by the Cardigan Capt. Cross, troubled your Lordships with a long letter etc. encloses duplicates. Continues :—The Assembly is now met again ; I have been trying all possible means to moderate the furious rage they broke up in, and if practicable to dissipate their fears, and jealousies; as to the first, I can say that they are in better temper, as to the last it is impossible to guess, what will be the result or issue of their consultations ; that notion of being yearly tennants for their laws, has been so industriously inculcated upon them, and has taken such deep root in their minds, that I apprehend all attempts to remove it or any opposition will raise such a flame, as that nobody can guess or foresee where it will end. Your Lordships will see that nothing I could think of, or that was in my opinion prudent has been omitted, but their engagements upon this head to one another are such, that tho' they won't (or indeed can't with reason) fall out with me, however, if any of their Members was to declare his opinion, or use any arguments to bring others to comply with a yearly Reviving Bill for their laws, he would not only immediately be expell'd their House, but likewise be voted, and declar'd, an enemy to his Country; I confess it is not an easy matter to determine what is proper to be done ; it is true I have hitherto for above a quarter of a year since the expiration of the laws took all proper measures to conduct affairs so as to prevent inconveniences or complaints, and could I be satisfied that the distresses of the Government would not increase, or the distraction of the people not grow worse, I could continue in the same method and (as to myself) wait with patience for instructions from Home, but the consequences, and difficulties this might be attended with may prove such as would be thought unadvisable, or imprudent to run the hazard of encountering with, and I might be blam'd to take upon me more then I could answer for : they may easily be guess'd at, when it is consider'd that there are no laws in force : Justice at a stop and peoples demands (particularly of those in business from other parts of the world) suspended, if not lost, by persons dying, or dayly removing or going off and useing means to defraud their honest creditors; besides considering the general temper of the common people, who are pleased to be freed from the restrictions of any laws and are not within reach of being made sensible of their error, may be liable to create the utmost irregularities and extravagances, so as might call, for what might be thought unwarrantable severities to be corrected and set to rights again, particularly when it might be suspected that those from whom I should expect all aid to prevent all this, are the very persons, who under hand may be the fomenters of it. By what I have said in my former letter etc., I cant suppose but that your Lordships plainly perceive the just foundation I have to represent how necessary it is the Government should be countenanc'd and supported ; that the least suspition as if it might be overlook'd here or disregarded at Home, is attended with all the difficulties that can be rais'd or forged by the most unreasonable, impatient, positive, proud, and stubborn tempers, and likewise justifie me, when I desire and press to have, what I have represented ; taken into consideration and dispatch'd without any loss of time. I shall in the mean while use my best endeavours to keep every thing as quiet as possible, try to find out the best means to prevent all inconvenience, complaints, or confusion : and conform to the utmost of my power to what may be consistent with my duty to H.M. and the trust reposed in me. I hope to send a more satisfactory account by the next opportunity etc. Signed, Portland. Endorsed, Recd., Read 21st April, 1726. 2½ pp. Enclosed,
16. i. H.E.'s Speech to the Council and Assembly of Jamaica, 11th Jan., 1726. Address of Assembly in reply, and H.E.'s answer, 15th Jan. Same endorsement. Copy. 3½ pp. [CO. 137, 16. ff. 211–214v.]
Jan. 23.
Jamaica, Spanish Town.
17. Governor the Duke of Portland to the Duke of Newcastle. Repeats preceding covering letter. Signed, Portland. Endorsed, Rd. 21st April, 1725/6. 2½ pp. Enclosed,
17. i. Duplicate of P. to N. Dec. 18, 1725. (1st letter.)
17. ii. Duplicate of No. 16 i. [CO. 137, 52. ff 200–207v.]
Jan. 25.
18. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords of the Committee of H.M. Privy Council. In reply to Order of 27th (i.e. 17th) July, 1723, report that " the Colonies of Connecticut and Rhode Island are not willing to surrender their Charters, or be annexed to any of H.M. Governments, but we do not find any reason to alter our opinion as to King Charles II having been deceived in his grant to Connecticut, or of H.M. intentions to redress the grievance complained of by Rhode Island by his subsequent charter to them," etc. Quote from their report of 22nd March, 1723. Continue :—The Agents for Connecticut alleged that John Winthorp, after having obtained the charter for that Province, had no authority to submit the boundaries to a second determination (— April, 1663). But the Agent for Rhode Island having now laid before us a new piece of evidence, which is the appointment by the Genl. Assembly of Connecticut in Oct. 1702, of certain Commissioners to meet those from Rhode Island in order to settle the boundaries between the two Colonies ; it plainly appears from this instrument, that the General Assembly of Connecticut were so far from thinking that their late Agent Mr. Winthorp had exceeded his Commission in submitting the bounds to arbitration, after their Charter was passed, that they expressly provide " that nothing to be done by these Commissioners shall alter or change the property of any persons lands, but that property shall be saved according to the agreement of their late agent Jno. Winthorp, made in 1663, with Mr. Clarke, agent for Rhode Island." Upon the whole, considering that as the people of Connecticut have by their letter to us of 28th Oct., 1723, submitted their bounds to be determined and fixed by H.M.; and as the people of Rhode Island have done the same by their petition to H.M. : we are of opinion that H.M. may in his judicial capacity determine what shall be the division line between these Colonies. But as some doubts have been made with respect to their bounds, even as they are stated in the Rhode Isld. Charter, arising from the uncertainty and variety of names given to places and rivers ; and as the green line in the annexed map was determined in 1703, to be the division line between the two Colonies by the Comrs. respectively appointed for that purpose, we humbly propose, that H.M. may be graciously pleased to signify his pleasure, that the aforesaid green line may hereafter be the settled boundary between the sd. two Colonies of Connecticut and Rhode Island. (Cf. A. P. C. III. No. 4 and map reproduced in Appendix thereto.) [CO. 5, 1293. pp. 346–351.]
Jan. 26.
Council Chamber in Nassau, N. Providence.
19. Governor and Council of the Bahama Islands to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Your Lordships will observe that by the ballance of the last years account we are indebted 664.7½ ps. of 8/8 at 4s. sterl. p. piece of 8/8, and is chiefly on account of tools and necessarys for the use of the fortifications and carrying on other publick works. We have been as good husbands as possible but our revenues are so very small, and the Bahama Society receiving to their particular use the tenths of wood, salt and other adventures which always formerly came into the publick Treasury, the Lords Proprietors appropriating them entirely to the country service, greatly occasions our debts. H.M. having sent us a Great Seal to be affixed to all patents grants and acts etc., the Lords Proprietors or their lessees having nobody now here that do's grant patents for lands, and there being several demands of that kind, we are greatly embarrast, and desire your Lordship will please to give us instructions whether the Governor may give patents conformable to the enclos'd form, and how the reservation of quit-rent shall be adjusted, or in what other manner your Lordships shall see most convenient, for the want thereof will be a great hindrance to the encouragement of new setlers. In 1722 there were three bills of one tenor and date drawn on Jno. Mulcaster Esq. for £183 17s. 4d. pay a. to the Lords Comissrs. of the Treasury being H.M. part of forfeiture of a brigantine and her lading condemnd here, which we understand their Lordships have not yet demanded the payment of, therefore humbly pray your Lordships will please to interceed with H.M., that the said bills may be return'd us, and that we may have liberty to apply the sd. sum towards discharging our public debts. Signed, G. Phenney, W. Fairfax, William Spatchers, Sam. Watkins, J. Howell, Thomas Spencer, Willm. Jones, Simon Ferrall, Ken. Fraser. Endorsed, Recd. 19th May, Read 21st June, 1726. 2 pp. Enclosed,
19. i. The publick Treasury's account of cash. Totals: Receipts ; by public duties, 1725, 138 ps. 8/8, for the Church account, 13. Expenditure: Deficit from 1724, 560. 6.; workmen and materials for the fortifications, 1724, 176. 3½. From the Bahama storehouse for same, 78.3, and for the church, 0.3½. Total, 816. Deficit, 664: 7½. Signed as preceding. Endorsed, Recd. 19th May, 1726. 2 pp.
19. ii. Draft of a patent for granting lands in the Bahama Islands. Endorsed as preceding, l 1/3 rd pp. [CO. 23, 2. ff. 1, lv., 2v., 5v.–3v.]
Jan. 26.
N. Providence.
20. Governor and Council of the Bahama Islands to the Duke of Newcastle. Duplicate of preceding covering letter, mutatis mutandis. Same signatures. 2 pp. Enclosed,
20. i, ii. Duplicates of encl. i, ii preceding. [CO. 23, 13. ff. 227, 227v., 241v., 242, 243, 243v.]
Jan. 28.
21. Mr. Cumings to the Council of Trade and Plantations. There are abundance of ships trades this way importing salt for the fishery from France, Spain and Portugall: but att the same tyme import abundance of prohibited goods and very injurious to the trade of Great Brittain especialy from France, vizt. lulstrings and alamodes, besides other silks and India goods from Spain and Portugall so that if the Act of 9th and 10th K. William in favour of the lulstring Company were extended to the Plantations it would be an effectual means to prevent the importation of French lustring and alamode so prejudicial to the silk manufacture of Great Brittain. Many vessels trades from the Continent to the French and Dutch Settlements in the West Indies where it may be suspected a great deall of illegall trade is carryed on and they will not allow our vessels to trade there without importing of horses to grind their canes and allow us nothing in return but molosses etc. Repeats Oct. 10th, 1724 on this point and his scheme for saving £80,000 per ann. Signed, Archd. Cumings. Endorsed, Recd. 15th March, Read 11th Aug., 1725/6. Addressed. Sealed. Postmark. 1 p. [CO. 5, 869. ff. 338," 339v.]
Jan. 28. 22. Benjamin Whitaker to [? Governor Nicholson]. Complains that President Middleton has superseded the Clerk of the Crown (v. 3rd Feb.) and Vendue Master and sold their offices to Childermas and Edward Croft. He tried to obtain £400 for the office of Provost Marshall, but Mr. Harvey succeeded in getting it for £200 etc. I am very sorry that this should be done by a native of the countrey who I have heard condemn the Proprietors for things of this kind etc. Signed, Benja. Whitaker. 4 pp. [CO. 5, 387. No. 60.]
Jan. 28.
N. Providence.
23. Governor Phenney to the Council of Trade and Plantations. In reply to Mr. Popple's letter encloses returns required. Continues:—The Council book being swell'd to a large folio and Mr. Fairfax having no assistant, it will take a longer time to make two copys for your Lordships and the Secretary of State's Offices, so that it was impossible to get them done during the stay of the vessel that carrys this etc. Encloses list of Councillors. Continues :—Those names observ'd not to have been taken from the list of inhabitants qualified, were only the Commission Officers of the Independant Company and the Chief Justice, whom we found it absolutely necessary to admitt, for the other Councellers being so frequent at sea amongst the islands following their employment, we have been sometimes six weeks, and two months without a number sufficient to make a quorum ; and altho' that the persons I have return'd are men of fair characters, having never been on any unlawful accounts, yet several of them are very illiterate, which is unavoidable here. I have likewise sent your Lordships a draft of the outworks of the fort I have been building, which are now compleated, (except the gate which was done from my design and which we are forthwith beginning upon). We had not room upon the paper to shew your Lordships the bearing with respect to the barr etc., but as soon as it is finisht I shall furnish myself with larger paper and send it your Lordships with the prospects of the town and harbour, and if it is not so correct as it should be, hope your Lordships will excuse it, having no Engineer, whose proper business it is. Refers to letter of Jan. 26, and asks for the Board's recommendation thereof. Concludes:—Your Lordships will see by the enclosed affidavit what treatment the person who was rob'd by the Spaniards, met with, an account of which I promist to send upon his return. The Governor of the Havana (letter enclosed) was very civil to him, and he has hopes to get further satisfaction by the suit he has commenct against the Governor of St. Jago de Cuba, who return'd me no answer to my letter. Endorsed, Recd. 19th May, Read 21st June, 1726. 2¾ pp. Enclosed,
23. i. Minute of Council of the Bahama Islands, 25th Oct., 1725. The great silver Seal having been received from H.M., the former leaden one was defaced and laid up in order to be sent to the Board of Trade etc. Signed, W. Fairfax, Secry. Endorsed, Recd. 19th May, 1726. Copy.¾ p.
23. ii. List of Councellors, 1721. James Gohier, dead; William Fairfax; Thomas Walker, dead; Cha. W. Carrington and P. Skynner, suspended by Council; Richard Thompson sr.; Natha. Taylor, absent above 18 months, tho' leave for six only; Saml. Watkins; William Spatchers Sr., Peter Courant, ran away, therefore expell'd; Joseph Cookes, went for England, there quitted ; Thomas Wood, resigned in Council. Vacancies filled by (i) Tho. Granger, Chief Justice, quitted and vacancy filled by Simon Ferrall; (ii) John Howell; (iii) Thos. Ockold, dead, vacancy filled by Kenneth Fraser; (iv) Thos. Barnett; (v) Benja. Saunders; (vi) Thos. Spencer; (vii) Rd. Thompson, jr.; (viii) Wm. Jones. Endorsed as preceding. 1 folded page.
23. iii. (a) List of inhabitants recommended in 1721 as proper to supply vacancys in Council; of these, Jones, Barnett, Spencer and Benjamin Saunders are now Councillors, John Cockrem has gone off for debt, Joseph Hall is dead; Thomas Walker has gone off and lives at Jamaica ; John Thompson was mistaken for Richard.
(b) List recommended, 1726:—Francis Besey, Benja. Bullock; Neal Walker; Thoms. Saunders; Revd. McCurphey; Willm. Spatchers junr., Saml. Frith; John Walker, John Bennet, Joseph Hall jn., Willm. Pindar, Thos. Spencer jr. Same endorsement. 1 folded p.
23. iv. Replies to queries of Board of Trade, (i) Articles of trade:—Dye woods, timber, salt, oil, turtle, turtle shell, ambergrease, fruits, fine cotton and platt of palmeto tops, (ii) List of 16 small vessels of 3 to 25 tons, three of which were built this year, (iii) About 100 seafaring men at this town, (iv) British manufactures annually taken by the inhabitants, (clothing, ware, stationery, arms, provisions, tackle etc.) value, £2320.
(v) The greatest trade is to S. Carolina, bartering our turtle and fruit for provisions ; some others of our vessels go to Jamaica to be there employed during the gathering of their sugar, carrying salt, braziletto and oil and bring back the produce of that island, (vi) All necessary methods are used in this port by the Governor and Collector to prevent illegal trade, but there being several out islands where ill-disposed persons may find conveniency for running goods, and there being no proper vessel allow'd for the Collector to visitt such places, tho' both the Governer and he have represented the want thereof to the Board of Customs, their care it may be presumed is not wholly effectual, (vii) The natural produce of the Island is, large sugar canes, the finest cotton in the world, fine madera, mahogony, cedar, and pine fit for building of vessels, manchineel, prince wood, lignum vitæ, brown ebony of a strong Rhodium scent, with great quantities of braziletto, fustick and other dying woods, senna, gum elmi, guiacum mastick, and several other gums and medicinal drugs. The palmeto trees afford as good platt as on Bermuda, of which the women make hatts, and some small quantitys of platt are exported. The lands produce most sorts of provisions for familys, various sorts of fine fruits, the pine-apples here being of the best kind in America. On Exuma and several other islands, large quantitys of salt are naturally made every year sufficient to supply all H.M. Plantations, (viii) No mines yet discovered, the major part of the island inwards not being opened, (ix) As above. (x) 500 whites, 250 negroes on Providence: 200 whites, 40 negroes on Islathera ; 130 whites, 20 negroes on Harbour Island, (xi) Number of inhabitants not increasing for want of trade being more briskly carried on. (xii) There are three Companies of Militia on Providence, two on Islathera, and one on Harbour Island, (xiii.) Fort Nassau, that lies to command the bar, which the Governor found in ruins, has had three entire new bastions solid, lately built of stone work, and the parapets which were formerly of earth also finisht with stone, as likewise a strong palisado round it more than half finisht. There remains to be added a gate on the South curtain with a cavalier over it, a magazine bomb proof, storehouses for provisions and gunners stores, barracks for officers and soldiers ; and traverse walls on the ramparts, as likewise a small fort at the eastward to command that entrance into the harbour. There was a small thing called a fort at Harbour Island but now in ruins, and an entire new one necessary, on which the Governor has encouraged them to go to work, and promist to supply it with cannon etc. They have not yet begun, but promise speedily. We proceed on these works as fast as our small revenue and number of hands will enable us. What has been already done, having been by the labours of' the Independant Company in garrison here, and now and then the help of a few negroes without any assistance from any other persons whatsoever. The Governor having built a house on his plantation at the village where the Palatines dwell about five leagues west of Nassau has secur'd it in such a manner as to be a retreat to the neighbours, in case of necessity about 20 or 30 men may defend it. It commands the channel to a bay where vessels may ride, (xiv) Having little correspondence with the French or Spaniards am not able to state their strength, (xv) The French islands lying eastward and far to the windward am not sencible of any ill effects, (xvi) The revenue laid on tonage of shipping and importation of wine and rum and fines of the Court are appropriated towards answering the contingencies of the garrison and fortification etc. (v. No. 19. i.) (xvi) Grants of lands hitherto made were by virtue of the Lords Proprietors lease and in the lessees names, and the quit-rent reserved to themselves, (xvii) The charge of the Independent Company to the Crown is £1821 195. 2d., being on the lowest establishment. There are no salaries setled for the Civil officers. The extraordinaries for contingencies for the garrison and fortifications amounted this last year to 255 pieces of 8/8 rials, (xviii) List of Council and officers etc. (xix, xx) List of islands under this Government, with their produce. Same endorsement. 10 pp.
23. v. List of fees appointed to be taken by officers, 16th Nov., 1724. Same endorsement. 6 1/3 pp.
23. vi. Deposition of Richard Thomson Senr. 20th Nov., 1725. On arriving at St. Jago de Cuba to demand satisfaction for a late robbery done by Augustino Branco who had the Governor Don Carlos de Suere's Commission, the said Governor promised him justice, and he commenced a suit. But after tarrying for four months, deponent found that by their continual adjournments he would get no reparation or justice and departed, Gibson Dalzell conveying to him 7 of his negroes which were in his possession as Factor. The Governor and his Secretary kept each of them one negro. Deponent also brought away Thomas Balthasar native of Puerto del Principe, who had been enticed to sail with Branco but refused to join in his villanies etc. Signed, Richard Thomson. Same endorsement. Copy. 1¾ pp.
23. vii. Governor of the Havana to Governor Phenney. 5th June (N.S.) 1725. Acknowledges letter addressed to his predecessor and regrets that Capt. Augustine Blanco should have abused his commission by committing an act of piracy etc. Has written to the Governor of Cuba, Don Carlos Suere, etc. Signed, Don Dionisio, Mart, de la Vega. Same endorsement. Spanish. Copy 1½ pp.
23. viii. Lists of marriages, baptisms (including negroes), and burials in the Bahama Islands, 1721–1725. Same endorsement. 3½ large folded pp.
23. ix. Account of stores of war wanting at Nassau. Signed, Tho. Butler, Gunner. Same endorsement. 1¾ pp.
23. x. Account of stores of war brought to the Bahamas by Governor Rogers and Governor Phenney and of what remains, Nov. 1721–Jan. 1726. Signed, G. Phenney, Tho. Butler, gunner, Willm. Shott, steward. Same endorsement. 3 pp. [CO. 23, 2. ff. 6–8, 9v.–16v., 17v., 19–22v., 23v.–24v., 25v–26v., 27v.–29, 30v.–31v., 32v.–34v.]
Jan. 28.
N. Providence.
24. Governor Phenney to the Duke of Newcastle. Duplicate mutatis mutandis, of preceding covering letter. Signed, G. Phenney. Endorsed, Rd. May 20. 1½ pp. Enclosed,
24. iix. Duplicates of encl. ii–x preceding.
24. x. Naval Officer's list of ships entered and cleared, N. Providence, Nov. 1721–Dec. 1725. Signed, Jno. Warner. Nav. Offr. 38 pp.
24. xi. Plan of the Fort (at Nassau? v. preceding covering letter). Coloured draft of outworks and palisading. 1 folded p. [CO. 23, 13. ff. 225–226v., 229, 229v., 231–234, 235–239v., 244–263v., 265–266, 267v.–272v., 273v., 274, 275v., 276v., 277, 278, 279, 279v.]
Jan. 28.
N. Providence.
25. Governor Phenney to Mr. Delafaye. Abstract. Compliments. Has been obliged to remove Mr. Mulcaster, Agent of the Independent Company, his credit being too bad. Is obliged to send for provisions to the West Indies and the Northward, but they refuse to take his bills on Mulcaster. Has appointed Ralph Noden of London, merchant, agent in his stead. Asks for Mr. Delafaye's protection and support in obtaining the stores of war so often requested etc. Signed, G. Phenney. Endorsed, R. May 30. Holograph. l½ pp. [CO. 23, 13. ff. 281, 281v., 282v.]
Jan. 29.
St. James's.
26. Order of King in Council. Referring Representation of 22nd Dec, 1725, with petition of Isaac Miranda etc. to the Committee for hearing appeals and complaints from the Plantations, for their report. Signed, Robert Hales. Endorsed, Recd. 21st, Read 24th Feb., 1725/6. 1 p. [CO. 137, 16. ff. 141, 142v.]
Jan. 29.
St. James's.
27. Order of King in Council. Appointing John Grimes to the Council of Virginia, as proposed 14th Jan. Signed and endorsed as preceding. 1 p. [CO. 5, 1320. ff. 1, 2v.]
Jan. 29.
St. James's.
28. Order of King in Council. Referring enclosed to the Council of Trade and Plantations for their report. Signed, Robert Hales. Endorsed, Recd. 14th, Read 18th Feb., 1725/6. 1 p. Enclosed,
28. i. Petition of Samuel Jacob and other merchants of Bristol to the King. The Treasurer of Virginia refuses to refund the duty exacted on some negroes imported by petitioners on 30th April 1724 under the Act which was repealed on that day. Pray for relief. Signed, Samuel Jacob and five others. 1¾ pp.
28. ii. Deposition of Augustine Moor, of King William County, Va., 22nd June, 1725, as to payment of duty on said negroes consigned to him etc. Torn. 1 p. [CO. 5, 1319. ff. 273, 274, 274v., 275.]