America and West Indies: December 1728, 16-31

Pages 275-288

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 36, 1728-1729. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1937.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


December 1728, 16-31

Dec. 16.
517. Arthur Slade to David Dunbar. Soon after my. arrival in Boston I took my progress through the woods and find the woods in N. Hampshire allmost destroy'd, so that if our Instructions be not supported by an Act of Parliament forbidding the cutting of white pine trees of any dimentions whatever, as well in townships as out of townships, H.M. in few years will have but a small supply of masts out of this Province; I proceeded into Maine and so to Casco Bay where the America was loading with masts for H.M. yards. This Province abounds with plenty of white pine trees and white oaks growing on a blewish clay, preferable for plank to any H.M. yards is suppl'yd with from the Eastern parts. I heartily wish the Government would make an experiment therein. Desires to know whether these white oaks fit for H.M. service are not also to be preserved etc. Asks him to represent to the Admiralty that he may have travelling expenses like former Surveyors etc. Continues :— Here is a ship of 400 tuns at Piscadaway loading with fine kelson pieces 4in. and 3in. plank, the kelson pieces are from 70 to 50 foot long fine white oak timber and plank preferable to any serv'd into any of H.M. yards in England, this ship loads twice a year to Spain. Suggests that, It would be more for H.M. interest to reserve such fine long timber for H.M. own use, which is and will be so much wanted in England etc. Proposes to visit Casco Bay etc. A small schooner will be needed to attend them in Nova Scotia. Signed, Aurthur Slade. Copy. 2 pp. Enclosed,
517. i. Account of (34) masts (8) bowsprits and (20) yards shipped for H.M. service on board the America, and of others cut and marked in the woods of Maine. Copy. ¾ p. [C.O. 5, 898. Nos. 51, 51 i.]
Dec. 16.
518. Governor Worsley to the Duke of Newcastle. Refers to enclosures. Continues :—The Assembly the 7th instant did at last condecend to send two Members to me, it being the first time they have done it for this year and half last past, to know my pleasure to what time they should adjourn, whereupon I adjourned them to this day, when they sent again two other Members to know my pleasure to what time they should be further adjourned ; unwilling to give them any occasion of saying I have harrased them, and finding, that as the Holydays were near, they had a mind to have a little respite, I adjourn'd them to the 17th of the next month. 'Tis surprizing to me to find the Assembly can complain of long adjournments, which has prevented them from proposing any bills for the advantage of trade, when the very Minutes of this Assembly will shew how often they have adjourn'd themselves, without proposing any bill for that end. Signed, Henry Worsley. 2 pp. Enclosed,
518. i. List of (13) causes at the Grand Sessions of Barbados, 10th—12th Dec, 1728. Signed, Wm. Coulthred, Dept. Cl. Coron. ¾ p.
518. ii. Address of the Grand Jury, at the Grand Sessions of Barbados, 10th—12th Dec, 1728, to the King. Express affection and gratitude to their glorious Benefactor, especially for continuing Governor Worsley, whose enemies themselves must allow to be free from those vices and corruptions some others have been thought too much tainted with etc. Signed, as No. iv. 1 p.
518. iii. Address of Same to Governor Worsley. Express satisfaction at the renewal of his very just, equal and mild administration etc. Commend his religious care to support the prerogative of the Crown, whilst strictly preserving all those libertys and priviledges which the people here derive from it etc. Same signatures.1 p.
518. iv. Address of Same to Chief Justice, Samuel Barwick. Return thanks for his services, which justify H.E.'s appointment of him etc. "As an instance, we ought not to forget that recent one of your Honour's adhering with an unalterable resolution to the express words of his Most sacred Majesty's Royal Instructions in a matter that immediately concerned the Prerogative of the Crown, as being well assured that an attempt to make the least invasion of that sort, would so far tend to subvert our happy establishment, and render us unworthy of those glorious privileges and advantages which we have hitherto enjoyed etc. Your Honour's conduct is a proof that persons of the largest possessions (provided they are endued with probity and honour) will always have the true interest of it at heart " etc. Signed, John Lewis, Robt. Taylor, Will. Taylor, Wm. Goddard, John Todd, John Griffith, Tho. Bedford, Edwd. Lovell, John Pollard, Saml. Barwick jr., Joshua Ewing, Tho. MacColloch, Joseph Francklin, Thom. Hayes, Phillip Rudder, Joseph Pinge. 1 p.
518. v–vii. Duplicates of Nos. ii–iv. [C.O. 28, 44. Nos. 131, 131 i–vii.]
Dec. 16.
519. Governor Worsley to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Duplicate of preceding, mutatis mutandis. Signed, Henry Worsley. Endorsed, Recd. 19th Feb., Read 20th May, 1728/9. 2 pp. Enclosed,
519. I–iv. Duplicates of encl. i–iv supra. Endorsed, Recd. 19th Feb., 1728/9. [C.O. 28, 20. ff. 127, 127 v., 128v.– 132v.]
Dec 17.
New York.
520. Paul Richard to George (Charles) Delafay. Announces death of Col. John Riggs from plurisy. Capt. Richard Riggs immediately went to weight upon H.E. at Burlington for a commission to succeed him etc., and goes to England to solicite your favour in having it confirmed for the good of the family etc. Signed, Paul Richard. Endorsed, R. 19th Feb. Addressed, 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1092. No. 71.]
Dec. 17.
521. Mr. Popple to Mr. Fane. Encloses, for his opinion in point of law, Act of Antigua, 1728, for making a settlement on H.E. the Rt. Hon. Thomas Earl of Londonderry, during his government and personal residence etc. [C.O. 153, 14. p. 406.]
Dec. 18.
522. Same to Same. Asks for opinion, in relation to clauses 5 to 7 of Act to encourage the trade to Newfoundland, what title the possessors may have to any houses, stages etc. which they claim by vertue of clause 7 ;whether they have an inheritance therein, or only an estate for life, and whether the same be alienable ? [C.O. 195, 7. pp. 156, 157.]
Dec. 18. 523. Governor Montgomerie to the Duke of Newcastle. Acknowledges Instructions relating to Surveyor General of the Woods and form of prayer for the Royal Family. Encloses copy of his letter to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Continues :—If your Grace approves of this way of transmitting my informations I shall continue it etc. Col. Riggs Capt. of one of the Companies here being dead, I have ordered Richard Riggs the Capt. Lieut, to be posted in his place, and Charles Congreve to be Lieut, to my Company. Prays his Grace to recommend them for commissions etc. Signed, J. Montgomerie. Endorsed. R. Jan. 13th. Holograph. 2 pp. Enclosed,
523. i. Duplicate of letter to Council of Trade, 30th Nov., 1728. 7 pp. [C O. 5, 983. ff 10, l0v., 11v –15v.]
Dec. 19. 524. Mr. Fane to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Reply to No. 522. I am of opinion that by the words of this clause an estate for life only passes to the possessors and consequently a right of alienation only for that interest, for reasons given. Signed, Fran. Fane. Endorsed, Recd., Read 19th Dec, 1728. 1 1/3 pp. [C.O. 194, 8. ff. 183, 183v., 184v.]
Dec. 19.
525. President Middleton to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Expresses his hearty concurrence with the Council in all their proceedings described in their Representation to the King, which, he presumes, will be referred to them etc. v. July 2, 1729. Signed, Ar. Middleton. Endorsed, Recd. 1st. April, Read 16th July, 1729. 1 p. [C O. 5, 360. ff 155, 156v.]
Dec. 19.
526. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Duke of Newcastle. His Grace the Duke of Montague having laid before us the copy of a letter which he received from Barbados in relation to Sta. Lucia, and to the consequences which are to be feared, from the French King's subjects taking possession of that Island, enclose extract thereof for H.M. directions upon a matter of so great importance to his Sugar Islands in America. Autograph signatures. 1 p. Enclosed,
526. i. Extract of letter from John Bennet to the Duke of Montagu. Barbadocs, 14th Sept., 1728. Concludes; (after compliments), I am able to give the strongest reasons in the world, that if we don't secure that island [Sta. Lucia], we shall be outed of all the Charibbees, and consequently of the whole sugar trade. The French be they never so good allies, are the only persons that we are to dread in those parts. Copy. 1 p. [C.O. 253, 1. Nos. 36, 36 i; and (without enclosure) 29, 15. p. 105.]
Dec 20.
527. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Duke of Newcastle. Enclose following, to be laid before H.M. Autograph signatures. 1 p. Enclosed,
527. i. Same to the King. In reply to 18th Oct., represent that, the Fishery of Newfoundland ever since your Majesty's subjects have been possess'd of it, has been esteem'd a very important branch of the British Commerce, it has constantly been the object of the Government's care, has frequently been regulated by Orders in Council and Royal Charters, sometimes by Acts of Parliament, and very particular Instructions are annually given to the Commodores appointed to attend that station for the good Government and regulation of this Fishery. But as my Lord Vere Beauclerk very justly observes (Oct. 18), the ill conduct of the Garrison, the disorders of the Inhabitants, the pretentions set up to the best fishing stages under colour of a certain clause in the Act of the 10th and 11th Wm. III, and of titles purchased from the late French inhabitants at Placentia since the Peace of Utrecht, by permission from her late Majesty Queen Anne in exclusion of the fishing ships, the want of sufficient powers in the Commodore for enforcing the several provisions made by the aforesaid Act, and the general contempt of the authority vested by law in fishing Admirals (who are the Captains of fishing ships first arriving in the respective harbours) have reduced the Fishery to a very bad condition, and unless proper remedys be applyed in all probability, we shall in time be entirely deprived of those advantages the Nation has heretofore reap'd from this trade, which besides the profitable returns it has brought us home from foreign markets has been a considerable nursery for sailors and a main support to the British Navigation. Complaints of this nature we have frequently received from the Commodores upon the Newfoundland Station, and we have not been wanting in our endeavours to prevent so great a damage to the Kingdom, as the loss of this Fishery would be, by representing from time to time the declining state it was in, and by offering such methods as in our opinion might best contribute to redress the disorders it now lyes under, more particularly by our reports etc. March 2, 1716, and Dec. 19, 1718 etc. (enclosed and described). From these reports, your Majesty may be inform'd that whilst this trade was in a flourishing condition, it was carryed on by Merchant Adventurers only, chiefly from the Western parts of England, that the sailors' wages depended intirely upon the success of the voyage, which ingaged their utmost industry in the Fishery, and the vessels clearing for Newfoundland being obliged yearly to carry out a certain proportion of green men, who had never been before at sea, this trade did greatly encrease the number of our sailors. But these laudable customs have of late been too much neglected to the great detriment of our Trade and Navigation, and one half of this Fishery is at present in the hands of people whose labours do not redound so much as they ought to do, to the advantage of Great Britain. For in process of time certain persons who had no share in the fishing ships, tempted by the advantage arising from this trade, began to embark as passengers with their servants and purchase boats to fish in on their own account in Newfoundland, for which reason they were and still are call'd by-boat-keepers ; and these people pay but small regard to the fishing laws. The inhabitants likewise of Newfoundland settled there under the protection of sundry proprietors to whom the Kings of England have formerly made grants of different parts of that island, have long had a share in this Fishery; for your Majesty's Royal Ancestors ever since the reign of King Henry the Seventh have been the lawfull Lords of Newfoundland, notwithstanding the several pretentions and encroachments of foreign Nations. As the fishingships, sometimes have not been able to export to foreign markets all the fish made by their own boats, and much less what has been taken by the by-boat-keepers and inhabitants, it became necessary that other vessels should attend for that service and these were called sack ships, for it is computed that the by-boat-keepers and inhabitants do, communibus annis, catch as much fish as the merchant adventurers. And there is no manner of doubt that the coast and banks of Newfoundland under proper regulation might afford a sufficient harvest, to reward the industry of all persons any ways concern'd in this Fishery. But by the annual returns by the Commodores upon this station we find that these different interests too frequently clash and are detrimental to each other, that the Garrison likewise contrary to your Majesty's express Instructions interfere in the Fishery, that the soldiers retail great quantities of strong liqouers whereby the sailors and fishermen are debauch'd ; that the inhabitants for want of persons properly impower'd to administer justice amongst them in the winter season, frequently pull down the stages erected by the fishing ships, destroy the woods and live in a perfect state of Nature without regard to laws, divine or humane, that most of the regulations of the Act of 10th and 11th Wm. III, for want of penaltys to enforce their execution are become of no effect, that the conduct of the inhabitants and by-boat-keepers is in many other respects highly detrimental to this trade, more particularly, for that by their means, wages, and consequently the price of fish, annually increases, and that considerable numbers of our saylors are every year inticed away to New England by the Factors of that country residing in Newfoundland, who have premiums allow'd for that purpose, and make exorbitant advantages of the necessity the inhabitants are under, whereby this Fishery which in it's first institution was wisely intended to be a nursery of sailors for the service of Great Britain, far from answering that end, is becoming a dangerous drain from the Mother Kingdom to encrease the shipping of a Colony negligent of the Laws of Trade and Navigation, frequently encroaching upon your Majesty's Royal Prerogative, and too much inclined to Independence. These disorders demand a speedy cure, and an entire one cannot be had without assistance from the Legislature ; for which reason by our report of 19th Dec, 1718, this Board humbly offered to his late Majesty certain proposals calculated for that purpose, a copy whereof we now etc. humbly submit, that in case the same or any part of them should be approved by your Majesty, timely care may be taken to prepare a bill to the like effect, and leave obtain'd for bringing the same this session into Parliament. There are some particulars however that may be corrected by your Majesty's own authority without the interposition of Parliament, namely the irregularity of the Garrison, and the great disorders committed in the winter season by the inhabitants. As to the present Lieut. Governor of Placentia he has given so many occasions for complaint, that this Board has more than once reported their opinion of his conduct; and we would humbly submit, whether it be for your Majesty's service that so disorderly a person and so regardless of your Royal Instructions should be permitted to continue any longer in that employment; and so much the rather because in addition to the many irregularities committed by Mr. Gledhill, we find by some returns this year from the Western Corporations that he has of late entred into the building of ships in Newfoundland, with timber cut out of your Majesty's woods there, which is an offence of very pernicious consequence, and if a speedy stop be not put to it may in time cause so great a destruction that there will not be timber sufficient left to build stages and cook-rooms for the Fishery. But as his removal, in case your Majesty should supersede him, will not cure the evil complained of with respect to the behaviour of the Garrison in general, and as we are of opinion that it may be for your Majesty's service, that a Garrison should continue at Placentia, where fortifications have already been erected at a great expence which, under due management, might not only maintain your Majesty's right of possession there, (too apt to be encroached upon by our French neighbours) but likewise in time of war by any foreign Power be a great protection to the Fishery; we have consider'd how your Majesty's forces there may be reduced to better order and made more subservient than they are at present to the ends for which they were sent thither. And as it appears to us that one of the principal reasons why so little regard is pay'd to your Majesty's Instructions there is, that the Lieut. Governor of Placentia holds himself accountable to none but your Majesty, and thinks himself perhaps secure in being so far removed from your Royal inspection, it would seem necessary, that there should be some cheque or comptrol upon his conduct, and none in our humble opinion could be so proper as the Commodore annually appointed for this station, which might put an end to that competition between your Majesty's land and sea forces, and in great measure, if not entirely prevent the disorders at present charged upon the Garrison, who by this means would become accountable to an Officer incapable of sharing in the profits arising from a connivance at their irregular behaviour, neither are we without precedents in this particular, several Commodores upon the Newfoundland station having heretofore, during their continuance there, been appointed Governors of that Island and Commanders in Chief both of the land and sea forces. And if the Commodores were sufficiently impowered to appoint Judges and Justices of the Peace to decide disputes between the inhabitants and distribute justice amongst them, during the winter season, the miserys of these unhappy people might be much abated, which are great enough from the rigour of the climate and barenness of the soyl (incapable of affording them sustenance) without these additional evils, arising from the state of anarchy they live in. For which reason, as well as in consideration of the damage they frequently do the Fishery, your Majesty's Royal Predecessors have not given them much encouragement to continue there, and regular Governors as in other Colonys have very seldom been appointed for them, notwithstanding many attempts for that purpose in opposition to the fishing interest. In our opinion these poor people should rather be encouraged to settle in Nova Scotia, they are about 3000 in number with their wives and children, and might be of some service both to your Majesty and to themselves in that country, where inhabitants are greatly wanted. By the clause already mentioned in the Act to encourage the trade to Newfoundland provision is made for possessors of fishing stages, which had not belonged to fishing ships since 1685, her late Majesty Queen Anne likewise was pleas'd to give leave to the French inhabitants at Placentia, after the Treaty of Utrecht, to dispose of their houses, plantations, and fishing stages to such persons as should be disposed to purchase them ; and under these two pretentions so many of the best fishing stages are forestalled by the inhabitants in the most considerable bays, that the fishing ships have frequently been oblig'd to pay considerable rents for them, which is a tax upon that Fishery that ought, if possible, to be remov'd, in all probability if these titles were duly inquired into, as several doubts occur upon the explanation of this Act, many of them would prove defective, and the stages might be again restor'd to the publick, for which reason we would humbly propose that some person skill'd in the Law might attend the next Commodore and assist him to inquire into them in your Majesty's behalf; the same person might likewise be usefull in forming some regulations for the better Government of the inhabitants, during the winter season so long as they shall continue there. And as nothing can so much conduce to the good Government of any Society as the propagation of virtue and religion, we would humbly submit whether it may not be proper that the Lord Bishop of London as Ordinary of the Plantations should be directed to send a Clergyman of the Church of England to Newfoundland for that purpose, whose sallary (if needful) may be added to the establishment of the Garrisons of Placentia. [C.O. 195, 7. pp. 157–175 ; and (covering letter only) 194, 23. No. 35.]
Dec. 25. 528. Petty expenses of the Board of Trade from Michaelmas to Christmas. 6 pp. [C.O. 388, 79. Nos. 35–38.]
Dec. 26.
529. Governor the Earl of Londonderry to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The following is a duplicate of a paragraf of the letter I did myself the honour to write to you of the 30th Sept. last, relating to the bill, now I presume before your Lordps., for ascertaining the number of Assemblymen to represent the French lands of St. Christophers, and I give your Lordps. the trouble of this purely (as I think my duty) to lay before you in the best manner I can, the points which I conceive to be in it contrary to H.M. Instructions, and therefore I take the liberty to observe that that act and the Vestry act passed just before it, has in some degree introduced a new frame of Government, the one of which divides the whole island into nine parishes, and the other settles the right of elections of members to serve in the Assembly, and doubles their former number. The Act for ascertaining the number of Assemblymen is in many things I conceive contrary to H.M. Instructions, and to the laws of England, and to that Island etc. First I conceive it to be a law of a very new, and extraordinary nature, and therefore ought not to have been pass'd, without a suspending clause till the King's pleasure should be known. Next, it confer'd a right to persons to elect and be elected to serve in Assembly, who were not freeholders, when no such thing had ever been practized before in that, or any other islands of this Government, which was I conceive against the express law of all of them as well as the King's Commission that allows that priviledge to none but freeholders. It likewise allows a right to denizens to be elected, which was directly contrary I conceive to the laws then in being in that island and to the laws and usuage of Parliament in Great Britain. It also repealed a particular law of that Island, and therefore by the King's Instructions ought not to have taken effect untill H.M. pleasure had been known upon it. It likewise disables almost all the King's servants in that Island from serving in Assemblys or concerning themselves about the choice of Assemblymen, which I apprehend will prove of great prejudice some time or other to H.M. service there. The other law called the Vestry act etc., which is only prefatory to this, is so obscurely and ambiguously worded, that it will probably be the occasion of many disputes, and contentions in the Vestrys, and likewise on elections for Assemblymen; for instead of describeing the bounds of the Parishes by mens possessions (which would have been the most obvious, and intelligible way) it describes them by geometrical lines which few persons are capable of apprehending. And besides it is done I conceive by such uncertain words that many disputes have already arisen, and most people are at a loss to find out the bounds of many of the parishes. My Lords, as the approveing or not approveing this law, will not make me one jot more easy or uneasy in my Government, so I am indifferent about the fate of it; but the regard which ought alwayes striekly to be had to H.M. Instructions makes me think it an indispensible duty on me to lay this before your Lordps. Corrects statements in encl. i, for the Assemblies were annual before and the writs by this act are issued as usual, only that the Chief Govr. is now obliged to direct them to Councillors according to seniority ; and before he was left at large to direct them to any of the Councillors as he thought fitt etc. Signed, Londonderry. Endorsed, Recd. 11th, Read 28th March, 1729. 5 pp. Enclosed,
529. i. Extract of letter from Same to Same. Antigua, 30th Sept., 1728. I should be very much obliged to your Lordships if I could soon know your opinion of abovementioned Act etc. For tho' 'tis highly necessary that that part of the Island should be represented, yet I cannot but conceive the methods prescribed by the bill must be liable to many objections, as they clash with H.M. Instructions ; for etc. there are contained therein sundry things of a very new and extraordinary nature, such as ascertaining the number of Members to be elected, how many each town or district shall return, excludeing the King's Officers, even those who have patents for life, and laying them under severe penaltys if they meddle in elections, the makeing the Assembly annual, and prescribing the manner of issueing writts contrary to their usual practice ; and contrary to that of the other islands of the Government, with a great many such like things, wherein the King's prerogatives may be greatly concerned. Wherefore I apprehend that bill ought not to have taken place, till confirm'd by H.M., and as I shall be very unwilling to call an Assembly there under that law till I know yr. Lordps'. opinion about it, I question not, but I shall have the honour of your answer as soon as possible. 1 ¾ pp.[C.O. 152, 17. ff. 23–26v.]
Dec. 30.
530. Richard Lightfoot to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses "a list of those people which Mr. Worsley and his trusty friends have been pleased to pick out from ye of scourings of ye people to serve as Grand Jury men, and to address his most sacred Majesty" etc. I have sett down two Genteilemen who were made of ye petit Jury whose estates will purchase all ye Grand Jury, and a list of seventeen who were thought not propper to serve because they were persons of great estates and men of worth, and honour. This serves only to shew your Lordships how easy tis to represent ye generallity of ye island a factious discontented murmuring people and render them undeserving of H.M. favour etc. Signed, Richd. Lightfoot. Endorsed, Recd. 7th March, Read 20th May, 1729. 2 pp. Enclosed,
530. i. List of those who were thought proper and improper to serve on the Grand Jury for the Sessions of 10th Dec, 1728, with the number of negroes owned by each. The former, totalling 17, owned 246 negroes amongst them, whilst two members of the Petty Jury, Othniel Haggot junior (170) and John Lyte (75) owned that number. Seventeen gentlemen who were not summoned to serve on the Grand Jury and are not members of the Council or Assembly are named, who owned altogether 6339 negroes as follows :—Samuel Osborne (1000 negroes and 10 women), Alexander Walker (548 and 6), Conrade Adams, Joseph Dottin, John Alleyne, John Ashley, John Gibbons, Burch Hothwell, Robert Warren, James Hannay, John Holder, Thomas Davers, Thomas Maxwell, James Hasell, Robert Jona. Osbourne, Thomas Merrick, Abell Alleyne. Endorsed, Recd. 7th March, 1728/9. 1 p. [C.O. 28, 20. ff. 133, 134–135, 136v.]
Dec. 31.
531. Mr. Popple to Mr. Fane. Encloses, for his opinion in point of law. act of Virginia, to enable William and Thomas Farrer to sell certain entailed lands etc. [C.O. 5, 1366. p. 11.]
Dec [—].
532. [Duke of Newcastle] to Lt. Governor Gooch. Acknowledges receipt of letter etc. of June 9. Continues :—The Acts of the Assembly will be laid before H.M. in Council, assoon as they have pass'd the consideration of the Lords Commrs. of Trade. I have moved H.M. in the case of Sarah Williamson etc. Encloses copy of H.M. Warrant for inserting her in the next Newgate pardon etc. As to the petition concerning stemmed tobacco, can say nothing on that head till it has undergone a proper examination. Concludes :—I have laid before the King your request, that you may be allowed to accept a present of £500 currt. money of Virginia etc. ; but in regard there is so clear and explicite an article of your Instructions forbidding you to receive any gift from the Assembly or others (quoted), H.M. can by no means consent that this Instruction should be broke thro'. You are sensible it was framed in order to prevent many inconveniences formerly arising in the Plantations on that account; and if it could be dispensed with in your case, it would be a very ill precedent for others, who being under the like circumstances would undoubtedly expect the like favour. Without signature. Draft .2 ½ pp.[C.O. 5, 1337. No. 45.]
533. Same to Governor Hunter. Acknowledges letters of 10th Feb., 4th, 17th and 18th May and 3rd Aug., which he has laid before H.M. Continues :—The King intirely approved your conduct and was very well pleased with the behaviour of the Assembly in their past session. The bills you sent lye before the Board of Trade, and no time will be lost in laying them before H.M. in Council etc. Your being able to get the Revenue bill past in the manner that had been prescribed to you, gave H.M. a good deal of satisfaction, as did also your having procured the exemption in favour of the South Sea Company in that which lays a duty upon the negro trade. I presented the Assembly's Address to H.M., who was pleased to accept in the most gracious manner the professions it contains of their duty and loyalty. The King was concerned to find by your last letter, that any incident could occasion the same Assembly, which seemed to open their second session, with the like good disposition, for H.M. service and the welfare of their country, to break up in some confusion without dispatching the business that lay before them, tho' relating purely to the particular interest of their Colony ; however H.M. hopes upon cooler reflection they will meet again with such firm resolutions to attend seriously to the service of their country, that their next session may prove more successfull. And I am glad to find by a subsequent letter of yours of the 13th September to Mr. Delafaye, that you have ground to hope they will meet in a better temper. As to what you mention in that letter concerning Mr. Ayscough etc., I have referr'd that part of it to the consideration of the Board of Trade, and assoon as I receive their report, will lay it before H.M. ; I have at the same time recommended to them the dispatch of their representation to H.M. upon the Revenue bill, and the Sugar bill, which are under their consideration. The King was very well pleased with your laying before him so freely, your thoughts of the provision necessary to be made for the administration of the Government in case of your death, which H.M. hopes for the good of his service, and of the Island entrusted to your government, will not happen in many years ; and H.M. intends to grant a dormant commission to Colo. Gommersel, whom you recommend, to take that trust upon him in case of such an accident. H.M. has also consented to Mr. Forbes being of the Council in the room of Mr. Pusey etc. As to what you mention of the depredations of the Spaniards etc., which they continue notwithstanding their having received the King of Spain's orders for the execution of the preliminaries ; I have nothing in command to add to what my Lord Townshend, by H.M. order, wrote to you 15th Sept. etc. H.M. has ordered the strongest representations to be made upon this subject to the Court of Spain, which it is to be hoped will induce them to send effectual orders to their Governors in America for the putting an end to these pyratical proceedings. Draft. 3 ½ pp. [C.O. 137, 53. ff. 94–95v.]