America and West Indies: April 1726, 1-15

Pages 43-56

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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April 1726, 1–15

April 1. 102. Robert Mann to Mr. Popple. Recommends his brother Edward, who has lived long in the West Indies and is now Receiver of the 4½ p.c. duty, for the Council of St. Christophers. Signed, Rob. Mann. Endorsed, Recd., Read 5th April, 1726. Addressed. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 15. ff. 244v.–245v.]
April 2.
103. Duke of Newcastle to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses following for their compliance with what is desired etc. Signed, Holles Newcastle. Endorsed, Recd.—, Read 13th April, 1726.¾ p. Enclosed,
103. i. Address of the House of Commons to the King, desiring that reports by the Board of Trade relating to the sale or value of the late French lands in St. Christophers may be laid before the House. 29th March, 1726.½ p. [C.O. 152, 15. ff. 246, 247, 249v.]
[April 5.] 104. Memorandum of the establishment of the two Independent Companies at Jamaica. £3,653 10s. per annum. Endorsed, Recd, (from Mr. Stevenson) 5th April, Read 7th Sept., 1726.½ p. [C.O. 137, 16. ff. 268, 269v.]
April 5.
Remem brancer's Office.
105. Certificate that Dep. Governor Gordon has given the security required. Signed, Benja. Marriott. Endorsed, Recd. 5th, Read 6th April, 1726.½ p. [C.O. 5, 1266. ff. 204, 205v.]
April 6.
St. James's.
106. H.M. Warrant to the Attorney or Solicitor General to prepare a bill appointing John Cornelius to his place of Clerk of the Naval Office, Barbados, without the former clause obliging him to residence there. Countersigned, Holles Newcastle. [C.O. 324, 35. pp. 165, 166.]
[April 11.] 107. Governor the Duke of Portland to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Having in my former letters etc. given your Lordships so full an account of the difficulties and discouragements I then lay under, and of the jealousies, discontents, and oppositions, I had to struggle with, it will be the less surprising to find by the account I am now to give, how impossible it has been for me to obtain a compliance with H.M. last Instruction. There was some hope when I writ in January last, that upon what I had then recommended, the Assembly would recede from their then demand of the perpetuity bill, a good many of their Members, whatsoever their behaviour might be within doors, yet without doors expres't a good deal of readiness to comply for one year further with an annual provission. The assurances in their address to me of 15th Jan., that they would keep at the utmost distance whatsoever might be supposed to put me under any painfull difficultie, could not be understood in any other sense, and had there been any sincerity in those assurances, or had I had any influences in my power to hold them to their duties, their promises must have produced the desir'd effect. Your Lordships will see by my answer to that Address, that there was nothing wanting in me to put them in mind of, and presse them to conforme to H.M. sentiments; but as they had then already read their perpetuity bill twice, so whilst I was (vainly as it proved) expecting a Quorum of Council to consult about what was proper to be done, the Assembly in a hurry, as if it were to put a barr in the way of any thing that might be proposed, read the perpetuity bill a third time, and in return to what I had said to them in my answer to their Address, resolved upon an Address of thanks, intending therein to give the reasons which had induced them to proceed in the manner they had done. I expected that if they had gone about that task of finding good reasons, it would prove so difficult a matter for them, or to assigne any tolerable ones why they might not, or indeed ought not to rely upon H.M. gracious disposition and in duty to him have fallen into another annual provision, as would have made them ashamed of their non-compliance, or at least, in case they had offer'd to give any upon that question, that it would have been so easy a matter to expose the fallacy, idleness, or undutyfulness of it, as might have influenced the disintrested among them, to fall into more respectfull measures, if not in that Session at least in another. But upon the meeting of a Quorum of the Council, which I must observe was then too long delay'd, they so readily approv'd and assented to pass that bill, as could not but confirm the Assembly's opinion of their haveing done mighty well in preferring the perpetuity bill to an annual one, which made the Gentlemen of the Assembly think an Address of thanks or any reasons in their justification needless, altho' resolved before. And as if they intended to cramm their bill down my throat in opposition to H.M., and in a manner as if they had a mind to declare warr with me, your Lordships, and the whole Ministry; they of their own single authority took upon them to nominate and constitute an Agent, not only providing a salary for him, but ordering the payment of all charges he should be at in solliciteing such affairs in England, as by a Comittee of theirs should be recommended to him, and a motion being thereupon made for addressing the Lords, and Commons of Great Britain, with a remonstrance of their grievances by the want of laws, and by the rejecting those they had passed, it was not without some difficulty that the debate thereof was adjourn'd. The extravagance of these proceedings will best appear by their own Minutes, particularly those of 28th Jan. etc. Upon my consulting with the Council on this conjuncture, and particularly in relation to the perpetuity bill, and laying before them H.M. Instructions, they then concurr'd almost as readily in advising me to reject the bill as they had been hasty before in passing it, and upon the whole it was thought fit to put an end to that Session, and to prorogue them to the first of February, in hopes that this refusal of their bill, together with the clamours of such as really suffer'd by the want of laws, might better incline them to fall into such a method as would be consistent with the instructions I had received. This my Lords is what pass'd in the Session when my last letters were writ, except two bills for the publick service, and security of the Island, viz. one for the relief of the inhabitants of Port Royal, and another for the encourageing of parties. When they met again on 1st Feb., after I had recommended to them what was proper, wherein I had carefully avoided saying anything that might enflame them, they immediately fell into the same resolutions in respect to their Agent, etc. They appointed a Comittee also to consider all their past procedings, and the state of the Island, in relation to the laws, and support of the Government, the view and intent of which enquiry, as I had reason to believe, was in order to frame some remonstrance, if not libell, or invective, against the Government, both here, and at Home, more especially against Instructions. They for this purpose desired a recess which they meant should be by adjournment, that their Comittee might have the more leisure to colour a complaint, but as their message only express'd a recess, I gave it them by a prorogation for a fortnight, which for that time prevented the expression of their fury etc. It was not out of any confidence in my ability, as if I could by any words or actions of mine reforme them, that made me continue this Assembly and not try another, that expedient was thought of, and very well considered, but besides the little likelyhood there was of getting a better in their stead, and the certainty there was that the greatest part of the new ones to be chosen, if not the very same men, yet would come under the very same influences, and those aggravated by the heat usual upon dissolutions, and besides the doubts that would arise about the legality of such an Assembly, of which some intimation is given in H.M. Instruction of 30th July, 1724, it seemed so hazardous a thing to call the lower sort of people together in the manner usual at Elections, whilst there were no laws in being to curb or restrain the heats and insolencies that generally may, and at this time might with so much more reason have been apprehended from such meetings, as could promise no good event, and might be attended with such a one as no body could undertake to answer for. The civil Magistrates who generally are remiss enough in their duties, have (at least a good many of them) since the expiration of the laws, been scrupulous of exerting their authorities even in common breaches of the Peace. The Militia Act being expired no man deemed himself compellable to serve by that Act, and some had already begun to refuse all manner of duty. As to the Independant Companies, they for want of their pay, were upon the very point of mutiny, tho' I had, to prevent it, supported them constantly as usual out of my own pocket, but as they suspected I ought to indemnifie myself out of their English pay, that method was not satisfactory. I was compel'd not only to draw very considerably out of my own estate at Home, but even met with very great difficulties in that, thro' the extream scarcity of money that circulated here, and the general unwillingness of people under those circumstances to part with ready money on any terms, as not knowing what event the times might produce; so that as the soldiers could not but think their pay uncertain, the dependance to be had on their assistance to the Government was equally doubtfull. Nor indeed is their number or strength at best sufficient for the Government to depend upon, in case any general or considerable disturbance should happen. Much less then could I expect to support authority in any such case, when destitute of all assistance civil and military. Not to mention the destitute extremities I was drove to, with respect to myself and family, by having been under a necessity out of my private purse to supply the more pressing exigencies of the Government, which then I found were grown so many, and so big, as made it impracticable for me to continue any longer. In such a scituation of affairs, as I believe your Lordships will judge it would have been very imprudent to have dissolved the Assembly, so I could not see what better could be done than to give them by such short prorogations so many opportunities of reflecting upon, and considering the common distresses of the country, and what their duty to H.M. requir'd them to do in such a conjuncture. It was the season of the year that traders and the London ships most resort hither with their cargo's. Great quantities of all kinds of merchandizes had since the expiration of the laws been imported, and sold and no means open to compel payment, so that not only the resident traders here, but the merchants at home, were in hazard of looseing to a very great value, and the Island its self of sinking into the utmost discredit, besides the loss to H.M. revenue. A good many people seemed to be so affected with these considerations, that I could not but hope the Assembly themselves in time might be so affected as to depart from their former obstinacie. Or that possibly some advices might come from home to direct me more fully what to do in so criticall a time as this. Which last hope seemed, by the necessitie of H.M. stay abroad, to be very distant. As your Lordships must be sensible, there are no means of compelling these peoples behaviour, either by the awe of any force in my power to threaten them with, or to influence their hopes, or fears, by anything I could either give, or take away from any of them, and that there was nothing left for me but to endeavour, by representing to them their duty, and common interests, to persuade them to a better temper, so I hope your Lordships will be satisfied there hath been nothing wanting in me, that I could say, or urge, to bring them to such a temper as might have deserved H.M. approbation. Upon their meeting again on the 15th of February, which was their last meeting, it was believed, that what I then said to them, together with the real pressures and uneasinesses of the people, would have made some impression upon them. They on that day forebore any thing indecent, resolved upon an Address of thanks to my speech, and that they would take it into consideration on the 17th. But as they, on the very next day, vizt. the 16th, in a manner very unparliamentary, scarcely to be believed or accounted for, in contradiction to that resolution of the 15th prejudged, and prevented, all good effects that might have arisen from the intended consideration of the Speech, by resolving upon, and bringing in a perpetuity bill again, it may behove me, however disagreeable a task it is, to give the best account I can of the views, dispositions, and motives that inclined them to such a procedure. There is a considerable part of that body, who being influenced by the people I have formerly complain'd of, and exalted by the successes of their friends by applications at Home, are resolved against any measures whatsoever that may tend to the ease of my Government; they had been the chief sticklers for the repeal of the additionall revenue bill (I transmitted to your Lordships) by a tack in a former session, looking upon to be what they think too considerable an advantage to the Government (and in my opinion it would be imprudent at any rate to give it up till a perpetual revenue be settled) but as they found the attempting that again, wherein they had fail'd, would not satisfie the Publick, so they thought nothing could more effectually delude and engage the people (hopeing they would not be found out, or that my instructions would stand in the way) than to resolve and insist never to give into a practice of being yearly tennants for their rights, and priviledges, but rather venture to sink, than to depart from any attempt to have them perpetual, not doubting but by this to confound matters, so as to make every thing desperate for me here. There are others also, of different views and interests, who being above any expectations from the Government here, and finding their accompt better in gratifying and deluding the populace with the specious notions of rights, liberties and priviledges, do affect, and have, among different parties of the People, obtained a sort of tribunitial authority which is dearer and of more accompt to them, than any sense of duty whatsoever. These sort of people lead the bulk of the rest, and they have inculcated the strongest prejudices, and jealousies against Instructions in general, where the least restriction appears, as if intended by degrees to introduce precedents, by which they may in time be deprived of all rights or liberties, and of these there was none that did not apprehend his interest and character of a patriot among the People would be ruined, should he propose such an annual provision as might be consistent with H.M. instructions. There is still another sort (I will not say how many) among each of the former, whose circumstances (as there is too much reason to believe) satt easier upon them without the exercise of Law, than under it; and it will not be incredible that some of those should preferr their own ease to the virtue of obedience, or of a just regard to H.M. or their Country. Out of all these as I have been credibly inform'd, a kind of Association or Con-juration was form'd, not to depart from the perpetuity bill, or not to pass an annual bill, without a repeal of the additional revenue bill, by which as I have said some flatter'd themselves, to have found out a sure way to see nothing but confusion during my Government, and others not to be press'd for their just debts. So that whatever influence the distresses of the Country, or a just sense of their duty, might really have upon disengaged free men, it seems their own engagements, their own private views, or circumstances, or their characters as patriots, prevail'd upon the majority to come to such a resolution, on the day before they should have considered my Speech, as made the consideration of it needless and insignificant. After they had pass'd the perpetuity bill, and the Council also had done the like, whereby the difficultie was for a second time thrown wholly upon myself, the Assembly presented me a long Address in favour of their bill, containing such extraordinary claims of right, and such uncommon kinds of reasoning or sophistry, as could hardly be calculated for any other purpose than to delude and captivate the meanest capacities. As it is not easy to give your Lordships a just notion of it in few words, I must also referr your Lordships to the inclosed copy, it was hard to judge what answer to give it, and scarcely prudent at that time to give it such a one as it deserved. I do assure your Lordships that I never have undergone more trouble and anxietie of mind, nor been so perplexed as in this juncture, and never at a greater loss to judge what my duty to H.M., and my own honour requir'd of me to resolve upon; whether I should transgress H.M. instructions more by assenting to, than by rejecting this bill, in such a scituation of affairs, was a question too nice, and too hard for me to determine with any satisfaction in my own mind, and it still gives me that perplexity that nothing but H.M. sentiments can free me from. As on the one hand H.M. last Instruction, giveing me leave to pass an annual bill, agreeable with what I had before received, implied a prohibition to the passing of any perpetuity bill, on any account whatsoever; and as the assenting to a bill of that nature, pressed upon me with such a contrariety, as well to H.M. instructions, as my own recommendations, might give too much encouragement to an obstinate People to slight, and trample upon the Government, so on the other the honour and dignity of H.M. Government, and the welfare of his subjects, not only here, but of many such at home who trade hither, and of those people perhaps more than the other, were at the utmost crisis. For as at this time most of the imports of the year, were already brought in, and the returns home expected, and that when the laws were open all traders hither have found it difficult enough to gett in their demands in any reasonable time, the inconveniences, difficulties, and prodigious losses they might have suffered, and have given a foundation for great clamour at home, loudly call'd for some immediate remedy and assistance; besides the Government here, in effect was destitute of all manner of power or support, the Treasury without one penny, nor in a way to get in any, the soldiers in actual mutiny, the People enflamed with discontents and jealousies (as too rashly and fully express'd in the Assemblies Address) and the condition of the Island, in case of any warr, or invasion, or of subduing the intestine rebellion of the slaves, defenceless. Altho' all these evils, had they happen'd might with justice be attributed to the obstinacie, and unreasonable tempers of the representative body of the Island, and could not with justice be imputed to H.M., yet if any considerable loss or calamitie had happen'd, much more the endangering the Island, I must confess it was very doubtfull to me, whether any thing contained in H.M. Instructions could have justified my carrying things to such an extremitie, and to deny them any longer the administration of Justice, according to the Municipal laws of the place; it being judged impracticable (or what at least would for a long time be ineffectual) to administer or introduce it according to the rules of the Common Law of England. I found the situation of affairs too perplex'd, too weighty and of too great consequence, to trust to my own opinion and judgment how to proceed at this time, and your Lordships will observe, if you are pleased to look in the Minutes of the Council books, how little assistance I had received, or had reason to expect from those Gentlemen. It is surprising in what manner they have avoided attending, or giving any opinion since the expiration of the laws, which has been near half a year; they took care tho' often press'd by me, to avoid making up a Quorum under several pretences, and even at such times when the Assembly was sitting, neglected attending, so as not only to put me under several difficulties, but also to put such a stop to business, so publickly as to be taken notice of by the Assembly; in short, their behaviour has been inexcusable, and intolerable. I only take notice of what do's appear in the minutes of the Council and Assembly, and in the journals, without any further observations etc. It is to be observed that on the 13th Sept., the day the Assembly was to meet, and also the same on 11th Jan. following, I was obliged, as to the first, to avoid opening the Sessions for that day, for want of a Quorum of Council, and on the last to lett the Assembly proceed to business without a Quorum; and whatever days appear in the books to be pass't over, has been for want of a sufficient number of Councellors to meet, and often (when just a number) broke up so hastily, as that no body could almost catch them sitting, so that the attendance there has been, or business done, as a Council in their legislative capacity, has been by repeated importunities of mine, or the constant care I have been obliged to take. And as to a Council of State, nothing had been done, if I had not watch'd all opportunities, and extorted from them to consider of affairs, so as to enable them to give some assistance or advice. I am sorry to say that there has been so few meetings of that kind, hardly any at all, but in the disposition they were in, impossible to be rectified. I must (to do everybody justice, particularly after what I have mentioned in my last) take notice, that Capt. Gregory ever since his return, has been the most diligent of all the Councellors, and that as far as yet appears, he is not come back the same man he was when he left this place. England has work'd a strange alteration, or reformation in him; the question is, and not easily answer'd, whether it will hold. As to the others I mentioned also then, they continue in the old way, particularly Mr. Laws who constantly do's all the harm he can, and is the contriver of opposition and confusion, and then is the first, and most active, to raile at it, in order to raise insuperable difficulties, as do's plainly appear by the singularity of his proceeding in Council, where he declar'd, that at any rate whatsoever (let the emergencies, the consequences be never so great, desperate, or destructive, without any regard to H.M. character or disposition) that Instructions ought litterally to be observed, when at the same time it is well known how active he had been to work up such a temper against complying with Instructions, (particularly such as they represent to infringe upon their rights and liberties) such a one I must say, as would surprise and astonish any man of common reason, or understanding; and when he found he had succeeded in that, then he thought it would be easie for him, in support of Instructions, to finish his premeditated scheme, and left nothing untry'd to bring matters beyond all possibility of redress; if his beginning had been answerable to his conclusion, then his behaviour would have deserved commendation, but as they differ'd so prodigiously, his intentions were so visible, that his best friends durst not appear with him, which made others suspect as if there might still be further matters of trouble in agitation, as yet undiscover'd; and the grounds for believeing this, was the uneasiness they could not help expressing upon the Prorogation, concerning the bills they had sent up, wishing amongst themselves they had them again, that they might have an opportunity to season them in a quite different manner. This My Lords in some measure deserves your attention to support what I may further say concerning this subject. As matters stood it would have been the greatest imprudence in me to have acted by myself, and taken upon me to be answerable alone, for all the evils one might easily expect and foresee, under these circumstances, with a furious Assembly, a distracted People, and an indolent, discontented, and divided Council. However My Lords I had none to advise with nor would it have been proper to have consulted any others than the Council, their opinions, in cases of the greatest difficulties, will be my best justification, and sure none could ever happen to be attended with more than this, when I may venture to affirm, the fate of this Island was at stake, and the interest of so many of H.M. subjects depended upon what was then to be determin'd, particularly when the Assembly had resolved not to pass, or to send any money bills till they knew the fate of their perpetuity bill then before me; so that with difficultie (having peremptorily summon'd all the absent Councellors to attend) I got a Quorum, and what then pass'd will fully and at large appear by what I send over, wherein your Lordships will find their unanimous, positive opinion was, (except Mr. Law's) that nothing could be done, but to give my assent to the perpetuity bill, and to set forth their reasons for such a positive advice in an humble Address to H.M. All which papers, to avoid giving your Lordships more trouble in this than is necessary, I must desire in a particular manner to referr your Lordships to; which will show that nothing but the desperate circumstances, everything, in all respects here, seem'd to be in, which if continued any longer, would certainly have been attended with incurable confusion and distraction, besides several other hazards too long to be repeated, or enumerated, could have prevail'd with me to countenance what appear'd to be against H.M. Instructions, so far as to give my assent to this perpetuity bill. Some doubt might be, and was made, whether in strictness this case came within the meaning of the repeated Instructions, because, they were upon a supposition that there was laws in being. But as now there was none, nor the least possibility to expect a renewal for a year, whether it was not to be constru'd as an extraordinary case, not comprehended or within the view of any particular instructions, but left by a general instruction to what should be judged proper to be consulted, and determin'd upon in Council. Whereby present difficulties might be removed, dangers prevented, H.M. Government taken care of, and yet left to H.M. determination. I have some satisfaction in this affair, that besides having neglected nothing in my power to procure a litteral conformity to H.M. Instructions, however by all imaginable care the bill seems to be consistent with H.M. intentions, for which the first promoters of opposition cant claim the least, or any thanks. It is free now, to their mortification, from the objections the former, as I could be informed of, was lyable to, there being nothing in this, which in the opinion of the Attorney and Sollicitor General of England, or indeed in any body's here, can give them the least colour of title to any law of England they had not before, it only intitules them to their own Municipal laws, and the words, which enact such laws as have been introduced and used, can mean no more then a permission to continue their former course of proceeding with respect to the administration of Justice. The reasons of its passing so, may be attributed to the endeavours of those who were in reality fond of the bill, and desir'ous to make it as acceptable as they could to H.M., and to the hopes and persuasions of others, of the necessity I was under of rejecting any perpetuity bill, however unexceptionable it might be made, which made them less attentive to the bill, or to the adding any thing in it concerning their darling rights or priviledges. And I verily believe, that had it been rejected, or should it meet with any disaprobation at Home, it will be next to an impossibility to bring them into any other so good and unexceptionable. As plainly did appear by many of their countenances, which rather bespoke a disappointment than any satisfaction, upon giving my assent to the bill. This agrees with what I have before desir'd your Lordships attention upon. The revenue given by it, is by experience found to exceed the estimate of the charges considerably, so that as it provides amply for the occasions of the Government, and that by my Instructions it seems to have been, what was intended particular care should be taken of; and at the same time enacts nothing in their favour, more than what they were indisputably entitled to before, so it was a question with me, and I did apprehend that the loss of such a bill might be imputed to me as a great indiscretion, and I cannot but hope that what I have done in passing it, will not only be excuseable, but may upon full consideration prove acceptable. As they, by their address, acknowledge H.M. power of rejecting the Bill, and do desire my passing it upon that motive, and also give some kind of assurances as if they would, in case H.M. should think it defective, supply the same hereafter, I do hope it will be some inducement in favour of the bill. But if it should be thought proper to reject this perpetuity bill, or instead of it any thing should be expected either in relation to the sending of their bills home as draughts, or the incertion of any clause to suspend their taking effect till the signification of H.M. pleasure, or any other scheme repugnant to the dispositions of this People, (which your Lordships are pretty well acquainted with) I beg it may at the same time be well considered how unable the Government here is, either to compell or engage. How little influence, or dependance a Governor can have, on the behaviour, or respects of a people whose humour, and interests, are more likely to be gratified by opposition, and popular applications, than by a due obedience to Government; and who imagine themselves more likely to obtain favour at home, by the former, than the latter; and in a word, whether it is likely that any such purposes as are aforementioned can be obtained, without putting them under some sufficient awe and force; without it, and H.M. full instructions, and powers, how and what Courts of Justice to erect, so as that H.M. hereditary and additional revenue may be collected towards the support of the Government, under such an exigence, it is not well possible to say how, or to expect it should be done. Your Lordships will see, by the necessary bills I now transmitt, what a general stand there was in all manner of business, and transactions, thro'out the whole Island, and will easily guess, at the confusion and distraction that must naturally attend such a general suspention. They have also pass'd another bill for my additionall salary, to have continuance during my Government here, and so far agreeable to my instructions on that head, but instead of a clause, not to have it take effect till H.M. pleasure was known, which by no means was to be obtain'd, they have incerted one which they say will answer the same purpose, that is, that it shall not be in force untill H.M. be pleased to signifie His assent to the perpetuity bill. I wish it could have been otherwise, but it was impracticable. Upon the whole every thing now again appears to be in a state of tranquility, all matters go on in their old channell, the generality of all those in the Island satisfied, the Government now amply supplied, supported, and provided for, without the least concession of anything new to the People, or of what they would not have been certainly intitul'd to for a year, the very day an annual bill had pass'd; besides, this has so disapointed the opposers to the Government, that it gives me some momentary ease and pleasure, tho' it can't anyways be lasting, till I am informed how my behaviour will be approved of at home, and by H.M.; but give me leave to say, that having the advice of the Council, I could not in oposition to it, with any prudence, according to my judgement (with these People, and under all the circumstances I have represented) have push'd things further, or have done more, and with sufficient reason may add, that were it to be undertaken again one might probably meet with a much worse success. There is yet another matter which I think it incumbent on me to mention, and desire your Lordships sentiments of, and that is in relation to the Dutch, French, and other ships, which of late come here more frequently than formerly; and that is represented, as I understand, as owing to some extraordinary countenance, or encouragement given to their coming. As the coming of so many of them here of late is manifestly occasioned by the greater strictness of the Spaniards than has heretofore been usual, in keeping them off of their coasts, by which means some of them, disabled by engagements with the Spanish cruisers, and others for the want of wood, water, or other necessaries, have been obliged to resort hither for supplying their wants; and as it seems inconsistent with H.M. treaties, and the Law of Nations, to deny them that access or relief their necessities require; so I think the caution used in this respect, has on my part, been as great as was in my power to make use of. Not only, by absolutely refusing to have any manner of dealing with 'em my self, but as I never gave the least liberty to any of them but by warrant to the proper officers, requiring their especial care to prevent any unlawfull commerce whatsoever, nor allowed any of them a liberty of selling any goods whatsoever, otherwise than by the Naval Officer, or to any greater value than he should see necessary, to pay for what they realy wanted, which liberty very few of them have had, or even desired, they being mostly provided with ready money. And when the frequencie of their access gave room to suspect their necessities might be only pretended, I required of them (and that before the late Act for preventing clandestine trade, which was pass'd by my encouragement, and which I now transmitt) not only to make oath of the truth of the necessitie alledged, and of their having no intention to trade, but also that they neither would sell, or permit any part of their ladings to be sold, contracted for, or deliver'd, to any of the inhabitants of this Island. This I hope will free me from any misrepresentation concerning this matter. I should have thought it needless to trouble your Lordships with any thing upon this head in vindication of my self, had I not some reason to believe, that not only all my care has proved insufficient to prevent the running of some such goods, at outward bays or creeks, where no Officers are to prevent it, but that some of those who are most forward in the clamour, and misrepresentation of this matter, or most zealous in promoting it, are the chief, if not the only, aggressors, thereby at once gratifying their own avarice, and their hopes of makeing my Government uneasy. If your Lordships can think of any method more proper to be taken, than has already been, for preventing such injuries for the future, your adviseing of it will be very acceptable etc. Signed, Portland. Endorsed, Reed. 21st, Read 26th July, 1726. 18 large pp. Without date, but see 1st June. A duplicate received on 10th Aug, sent to the Council Office, was dated 11th April. Enclosed,
107. i. H.E.'s Speech to the Council and Assembly, 11th Jan., Address of the Assembly in reply, and H.E.'s Answer, 18th Jan., 1726. 4 pp.
107. ii. H.E.'s Speech to the Council and Assembly, on proroguing the Assembly, 29th Jan., and opening the Sessions 1st Feb., with their request for a recess and H.E.'s reply, 2nd Feb., 1726. 3 pp.
107. iii. H.E.'s Speech to the Council and Assembly, 15th Feb., with Address of the Assembly in reply, 25th Feb., with H.E.'s reply. 8½ pp.
107. iv. Address of the Council of Jamaica to the King. 8th March, 1725(6). Excuse themselves for having been obliged to depart from H.M. Instructions and to pass the perpetual revenue bill upon which the Assembly insisted. 1 p.
107. v. H.E.'s Speech to the Assembly, at their prorogation, 9th March. 1 p. Nos. i–v. endorsed, Recd. 21st July, 1726. [CO. 137, 16. ff. 223–231v., 232v.– 241v., 244v.]
April 11
Jamaica, Spanish Town.
108. Governor the Duke of Portland to the Duke of Newcastle. Repeats preceding covering letter. Signed, Portland. 19 pp. Enclosed,
108. ivi. Duplicates of Encl. i–v preceding. [CO. 137, 52. ff. 220–229, 230–239, 244v., 245; and (duplicate of covering letter) 264–271.]
[April 11.] 109. Extracts from Minutes of Council and Assembly of Jamaica, Jan. 12th—8th March, 1726, of proceedings referred to in preceding letter. Endorsed, Recd, (from Mr. Stevenson), Read 27th July, 1726. 17 pp. [CO. 137, 16. ff. 245–253, 254v.]
April 13. 110. William Willys to [Mr. Delafaye]. I had the honr. lately to mention to you, that Generall Sibourg, understanding that the merchants trading to Nevis, were desirous that the Lt. Governor should constantly reside in the iland, had beg'd the favr. of you to intercede with His Grace the Duke of Newcastle that Captain William Strang might be nominated to succeed him, who will be recommended by my Lord Scarbrough etc. Will obtain a petition of the merchants, if necessary. Signed, Wm. Willys. 1 p. [CO. 184, 1. No. 35.]
April 14.
111. Governor Worsley to the Duke of Newcastle. This is the first oppertunity that has offered of writing to your Grace by a London ship, since I received the honour of your Grace's letter of 24th Oct., in relation to Mr. Wood's patent for coining of half pence, pence, and two pences. Mr. Young, who brought me the letter, told me, he knew nothing in relation to it; I hear there are two, if not more persons, who have bought a quantity of this coin, one of them who had sent a deputation of Mr. Wood's, to Mr. Wadeson the Deputy Postmaster here, for the value of about £400 sterling, proposed to the said Deputy, that he should put them off at pences, two pences and three pences, at which rate, Mr. Wadeson tells me, he could not put them off ; but tells me, at farthings, half pence and pence, he believes they will readily go. Your Grace may be assured that I, as well as all others of H.M. Officers here, who it may concern, will be aiding and assisting Mr. Wood, or his agents, in the due execution of Mr. Wood's patent, and in the legal exercise of the several powers and enjoyment of the priveledges and advantages thereby granted to him. Signed, Hen. Worsley. Endorsed, R. June 27. 2 pp. [CO. 28, 44. No. 100].
April 15.
112. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. In pursuance of Order in Council, 11th March, enclose draught of Instructions for Springet and Hannah Penn relating to Acts of Trade, "to the like effect as has been given to all other Proprietors" etc. Annexed,
112. i. Instructions referred to in preceding. [CO. 5, 1293. pp. 362–397.]