America and West Indies: July 1730, 1-5

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 37, 1730. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1937.

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'America and West Indies: July 1730, 1-5', in Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 37, 1730, (London, 1937) pp. 155-165. British History Online [accessed 25 April 2024]

July 1730, 1-5

July 2. 304. Deposition of Samuel Frere, that Lodwick Sprogel deposited following papers with him before his death. Sprogel was a German by birth, but a naturalized subject of Great Britain. Signed, Samuel Frere. Copy. 1 p. Enclosed,
304. i. Memorial of the loss sustained by Lodwick Christian Sprogel, late of Philadelphia, owner of the Susanna sloop and her cargo, taken by the Spaniards.
(a) Affirmation of John Owen, Master of the sloop Susanna, Philadelphia, 2nd Nov., 1724.
Having regularly cleared from Philadelphia and reladed at Curaçoa, he sailed for Philadelphia, on the 21st July, 1723, in lat.29°, 49m. long. 68°50m. and discovering a fleet of vessels which he took for pirates, he made sail to escape. But a sloop coming up with him and firing great guns forced him to strike etc. The Commodore of this Spanish squadron, called by them the Armadilla, ordered him aboard. His sloop was then plundered, and his register, clearances and papers taken from him, and himself carried into Porto Rica, where he was not allowed to go ashore to make his defence until his sloop was condemned and sold. He and his crew were then put ashore where the Governor immediately committed them to prison. There they were detained 50 hours without any sustenance. He could obtain no other reason for these and many other hardships he and his mates suffered from the Commander of the Armadilla, but that he believed deponent had bought his cocoa of the subjects of Spain, nor from the Govr. of Puerto Rica, but that he must take satisfaction of the Commander of the Armadilla. The Governor did threaten to commit them to the gallys. They were detained as prisoners from 18th Aug. to 15th Oct., and then were under a necessity of purchasing their liberty from the Governor, which with other necessary charges amounted to 180 pieces of eight. During the said voyage of the Susannah neither he nor his crew traded directly nor indirectly at any post, nor with any person belonging to the King of Spain, but only at Curaçao aforesaid etc. Signed, John Owen. Copy. 9 pp.
304. ii. Deposition of Isaac Cox, apprentice to John Owen. Philadelphia. 2nd Nov., 1724. Signed, Isaac Cox. Copy. 2 pp.
304. iii. Deposition of John Owen, Robert Sample, Peter Mann, Isaac Cox. St. Thomas. 26/15 Oct. 1723. Repeats No. i. The cargo in cocoa, indigo and money was worth 3000 pieces of eight prime cost and the sloop 400l. etc. The money for our clearings pass and victuals in Porto Rico (v. enc. i.) was paid by an Irishman, James Lynch. Signed, John Owen, Robt. Sample, Peter Mann, Isaac Cox. Copy. 4 pp.
304. iv. Passport by the Governor of Porto Rico for John Owen and his three companions to sail to St. Thomas etc. Sept. 23, 1723. Copy. Spanish. 1 p. [C.O. 388, 89. ff. 31–39, 40.]
July 2. 305. Deposition of Samuel Frere of Saint Swithin Lane, London, merchant. Deponent for many years well knew, and corresponded with Lodwick Christian Sprogel etc. (v. preceding), and about 5 years since received from him the parchment writing hereunto annexed, etc. Signed, Samuel Frere. 1 p. Enclosed,
305. i. Samuel Frere to the [? Council of Trade and Plantations]. London. 1st May, 1730. Anthony Morris of Pensilvania did send me some years ago the inclosed affidavit etc. The value of the sloop and cargo is supputed at 4583 ps. of eight etc. Signed, Samuel Frere. ¾ p.
305. ii. Affirmation of James Wilkins of Philadelphia, mariner. 26th Nov., 1725. Master of the Sarah and Mary, Anthony Morris of Philadelphia owner, he loaded at that port divers goods of said Morris and of Lodowick Sprogell etc., and having cleared and obtained a register etc., sailed for Curaçoa, where, having disposed of his cargo, he reladed with cocoa, pieces of eight and a few pistoles, and no other goods but such as are lawful etc., and sailed with a clearance from the Governor for the Island of Bonair also subject to the States of Holland. Having loaded some salt, the produce of that island, he sailed directly for Philadelphia. On 17th March, 10 leagues from Hispaniola, he was chased by a sloop, which by the discharge of great guns and some arrows compelled him to strike his colours which were English. He was ordered aboard the sloop, etc. As he was getting on board her, he received a great blow on his head with a cutlass, and then was stripped of his coat, hat and silver shoe buckles. He was examined by the officers of the sloop, who were Spaniards commanded by a Spanish mulatto whose name he could not learn, nor the name of their vessel, but that she was Spanish having on board Spaniards, Indians and negroes etc. Upon affirmant's demanding by what authority they took him, the Spanish Captain directed the point of his sword to affirmant's breast and answered that was commission enough for him adding "God damn you hold your tongue or I'll run you thro'." Some of the Spanish officers confessed the sloop belonged to the Havana, and that they were a guard de la costa etc. They anchored at a small island, Savona, one league from Hispaniola, and demanded what money affirmant had. Two of them beat him, and throwing a rope about his neck, threatned to hang him if he would not discover what he had on board. Among many other violences, the Spaniards inflicted a very deep wound quite to his thigh bone, and thereupon he shew'd 700 pieces of eight silver and 4 pistoles gold, all wch. they took. Then they cut and much bruised this affirmant with cutlasses by the Spanish Captain's order, because he had not discovered the mony sooner. They seized the sloop with all her stores and cargo, etc., at a moderate estimate of the full value of 4583 pieces of eight. After affirmant and three of his men had been detained by the Spaniards on board their sloop about 29 days, being in the mean time striped of their cloths almost famished and very inhumanly treated, they set the three men upon St. Thomas etc. Two Spaniards took affirmant in a canoe near the shore and obliged him to leap into the sea where he was much bruised and in great danger to be dashed to pieces against the rocks. They discharged a swivel gun loaded with many small bullets at affirmant and his three men that were standing together near some of the inhabitants of the island. The shot missed them but fell among some sugar canes that grew near, in which it cut down a wide lane. The Spaniards detained the mate and carpenter of the sloop who, affirmant has been informed, are both dead of the barbarous usage of the Spaniards, and particularly that the mate was killed etc. The original was endorsed, This parchment writing was produced by Samuel Frere at the time of his examination, July, 1730. Copy. 6 pp. [C.O. 388, 89. ff. 42, 43, 44–46v.]
[July 2]. 306. Memorial of loss sustained by James Hutchens deed. master and part owner, and by Robert Harris, part owner, of the Wilford galley seized by the Spaniards at Malaga, 12th Sept. 1718. With deposition by Robert Harris, July 2, 1730, and papers relating thereto. 7 pp. [C.O. 388, 89. ff. 160–163.]
July 3. 307. Deposition as to loss sustained by James Porten of London, Esq., Mathew Martin of Colchester, Esqr., and Charles Eyres of London, merchant, part owners of the ship Parthenope, Robert Beale master, taken by a Spanish privateer, 7th April, 1727, and condemned at Malaga, upon a voyage from London in ballast to Newfoundland to lade fish for the Streights, and valued at 2000l. etc. With depositions by James Porten, Robert Beale, Humphry Crips, James Taylor as to bills of lading, and copy of proceedings at trial at Malaga etc. 27 pp. [C.O. 388, 89. ff. 164–169, 170–173, 174–175, 176, 177–178v., 180, 180v.]
July 3. 308. Memorial of the loss sustained by Daniel Vincent, late master and owner of the Edith of London, taken by a Spanish privateer on the coast of Barbary etc. Signed and sworn by, Danl. Vincent. Copy. 3 pp. [C.O. 388, 89. ff. 186–187.]
July 3.
309. [Dr.] John Stewart to Sir Charles Wager. Wee of this Island have always been vain enough to reckon upon you as our patron at least I have ever found you good-natured enough to bear wth. my thoughts in relation to it. Our late Martial law sufficiently opened our eyes in letting us clearly see as to numbers and circumstances of our people. You are no stranger to the chief strength of our Militia consisting of indented servants and a great part of those professed Papists. Now in case of a foreign enemy what can be expected of those who have neither honr. expectation or property to loose and perhaps their religion as Papists wou'd incline them to go over to the enemy. We are at present threatned by strong bodys of rebellious negroes in severall parts of the island, but particularly att windward near Port Antonio, who have already beaten two strong partys that have been sent out against them and if they should now beat a third, wch. is now preparing to be sent against them, it may prove fatall to this Island, for such repeated successes will no doubt encourage all ill-disposed negroes to resort to them from all the settlements in the country, wch. will soon make them a very formidable body, in my opinion, not to be resisted, lett it be observed that the free negroes and slaves that we sent out upon these partys, acted their part much better than the white people, wch. proves my assertion. You will perhaps think my fears represent things worse than they are etc., but if I know myself I never knew what fear was etc., I am resolved to dye in the feild with my sword in my hand rather than see so dismall a scene as must follow soon after a generall defeat. Notwithstanding all these appearances our Assembly cannot be brought to think of the only method that can be for our security agst. both a foreign and domestick enemy, that is, to petition for two full regiments wch. in reallity wd. be a less expence than we are att att present in maintaining partys, hitherto to no purpose; but in justice to our Assembly I must say this was lost only by the Speaker's casting vote, the charges of our partys now being 1000l. pr. month. We have it's true a brave old soldier for our Govr., but wt. can he do without men or mony. If his advice had been pursued in building barracks at proper distances thro' the mountainous passes of the Island, the rebellious negroes had been destroyed before this etc. I trust our King will not run the risque of loosing so valueable an Island and will even save us against our will. If I were not interested in the affair of Port Antonio I cou'd affirm that the setling of that place is the only way of rooting out the rebellious negroes from that part of the country. My hearty service to good Lady Wager and all friends with you att Parsons Green. P.S. I have not heard lately from my brother Rigby. I hope he is well. Signed, John Stewart. Addressed. Postmark. Holograph. 2½ pp [C.O. 137, 53. ff. 219–220v.]
July 4.
310. Order of King in Council. Approving Additional Instruction to the Governor of New England and Col. Dunbar as to H.M. share of forfeitures etc. As No. 298 i. and ordering that similar instructions be prepared for the Governors of all the Colonies named in the Act for giving further encouragement for the importation of naval stores. Signed, Ja. Vernon. Endorsed, Recd. 15th July, Read 13th Aug., 1730. 1 p. Enclosed,
310. i. Draught of Additional Instruction referred to in preceding. Copy. 1½ pp. [C.O. 323, 9. ff. 47, 48, 48v., 50v.]
July 4.
311. Governor Hunter to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Since I had the honour of writing to your Lordships by the Plymouth man of war, the Assembly have met according to their adjournment to finish what could not be done at their last meeting, towards the security and strength of the Island. They have now business enough before them, for a little before their meeting, I had advice from the North side, that the party consisting of ninety five shott, and twenty two bagage negros sent out at the request of that House by their Address to me number (i) "for distroying the principal settlement of the slaves in rebellion, having march'd undiscover'd in sight of that settlement, by an errour in the commanding Officers in puting off the attack till next morning, they were discover'd by break of day, surrounded, and routed, fifteen kill'd or taken, many wounded, and the rest return'd to Port Antonio etc. Refers to enclosures ii.–vii. Continues:— In my humble opinion that party (v. No. vii) is not sufficient considering the numbers, arms and situation of the rebels. The whole Council and many of the Assembly were for more effectual measures for the security of the Island, and dislodging, or distroying these Rebels; but the House being devided, and some of the Members occasionally absent, the Question mark'd number (8) was rejected by the Speaker's vote. Upon this head I think it my duty to send the information upon oath of some persons who have been on the Spanish coast lately, marked number (9 and 10), confirm'd by the general report of our masters of sloops who have been at the South Keys, which persuades me, as I believe they will your Lordships, that the Spanish design on this Island was real, and the measures to put it in execution stronger than what we apprehended. That by the vast number of arms, and quantity of ammunition, it is past doubt that the rebels have a secret correspondence within the Island, or from abroad, perhaps both. A Law is preparing to put a stop to all such within the Island. It will appear by the lists of the people of all kinds, free, and slaves when perfected; for as yet I want the accounts from most of the Parishes, that in case of any future rupture, this important island is in a defenceless condition, for tho' I have by procuring some good laws for the better arming those we have, and have repared the old Forts, and am now carrying on some new, put our indifferent Militia into a better order and discipline, than I found it, and got some good laws and resolves pass'd for the better peopling the Island; which is a remedy very remote from our present exegency; notwithstanding all this, I say, considering the small proportion our white people bear to the black, not being as far as I can compute hitherto, that of one to twenty; the exemption by law of great numbers from ordinary military duty and discipline, which will make such of little use, the number of the invalids or incapable, and what I think worst of all the number of white servants, of whom much the greater part is not to be trusted with arms; This Island is uterly insufficient to defend it's self in such an event. To shew the importance of this Island I beg your Lordships will cast an eye on the paper marked number (11), this calculation is not so exact as I hope I shall be able to make it hereafter, but I assure your Lordships that the articles are rather under than over rated. This considered, its situation with regard to a heretofore most advantagious trade which I will not name, the dependance the Northern Colonys have upon it for their very being; for the other Sugar Islands if this were gone must quickly follow, and it's great use in case of a war with any powerfull neighbours, I cannot doubt but your Lordships will be of opinion, if either from its present inability or the prevalence of a peevish or perverse party, and the indolence or inadvertency of others nothing can be done effectually by the Legislature here for its safety, that it is requisit that some measures be taken at home for that purpose. It has not hitherto been in my power to send your Lordships full and satisfactory answers to the Queries formerly sent, having as yet received no more than five of the accounts from the parishes. I inclose however one of them marked number (12) to shew your Lordships the method prescribed, in order to an exact information of the strength, welth, and number of the whole. I hope in a little time to be able to send them compleat. The Assembly having voted no more than 3000l. this currancy for finishing the Fort at Port Antonio, I am persuaded that sum will not be sufficient for that purpose. We are in the mean time going on as well as we can in preparing and laying in materials for that use, and when that fund has gone as far as it can go with the best œconomy, we must either trust to the benevolence of a future Assembly, be assisted from Home, or go on very slowly by means of what may be saved hereafter out of the ordinary yearly allowance for the expense of fortifications, which is at this time exhausted. Admiral Stewart is now there in good health, very busie in making the King's Island of use to his shiping; but he is of opinion that some fort or close battery there will be necessary for the security of the stores, and store houses, as well as the better defence of the harbours; but where we shall find a sufficient guard for these forts is a difficulty I cannot as yet solve. Pursuant to H.M. sign manual to me directed, Mr. Attorney General has been sworn into the Council. There is still a vacancy by the death of Col. Swymmer; Col. Price formerly recommended is since dead, and it is not an easie matter for me to comply with the letter of my Instructions, to send a list of twelve whom I judge duly qualified for that trust; for that 'twill be difficult to find out such a number, that are willing to accept of that seat, and whose residence is not too remote for their attendance. To the short list formerly sent I beg leave to add William Gordon, George Ellis, Gersham Ely, And John Hudson Guy Esq. Since the Assembly met last they have pass'd only two Acts, one for fitting out partys against the rebellious negros, the other for raising 6000l. to defray the charge of the said partys. They have several other bills upon the anvil which when perfected they shall be transmitted to your Lordships together with those already pass'd. Signed, Ro. Hunter. Endorsed, Recd. 12th, Read 29th Sept., 1730. 6 pp. Enclosed,
311. i. Address of the Assembly to Governor Hunter, 18th March, 1729(30). Request him to order out a party to suppress the several rebellious negro settlements near Port Antonio, whose incursions obstruct that settlement etc. Signed, Tho. Beckford, Speaker. Same endorsement. 1 p.
311. ii. Examination of Nicholas Plysham before the Governor and Council of Jamaica, 18th June, 1730. Examinant on 28th May last with Capt. Soaper and Tho. Ascroft with the partys under their command consisting of 95 shott and 22 baggage negros sail'd from Port Antonio to Plumtree Bay and next day marched to Mr. Hobby's open ground, six miles distance, and next day marched into the mountains south easterly, crossing a river several times and halted that night on the top of a mountain. The 31st they marched further S.E. etc. On Munday 1st June, they marched into an old deserted town, where they rested that night and cut down all the bonana and plaintain trees. The next day they marched for two days and nights along the river under the foot of the N. side of the Blew Mountain, and lay upon the side thereof that night. The 5th and 6th of June they marched along the Blew Mountain and about noon of the 6th came in sight of the negro plantation lying in a valley S.E. from them a full day's march. On the 7th about noon they entered the rebels' plantation, but about a mile's distance from it they fell in with some broad roads, particularly one leading up to the Mountain, which they took to be a road for bringing down timber. And they march'd on till three a clock thro the bushes along the side of the open ground where he saw some stragling negros diging provisions etc. At three or four o'clock in the afternoon Capt. Soaper geting up upon a tree saw the town in a bottom upon a river about a quarter of a miles distance etc. Examinant, Lt. Tudor and others asked Mr. Soaper if he would not immediately enter the town, the men being then generally willing and forward to do it, to which he reply'd that it would be more convenient to ly perdue till midnight, and then to surround it and enter it before day, upon which they lay there quiet for about an hour, when they heard children crying out the Backarah come, whereupon this deponent and several others declared they were discover'd, but some of the rest said they only call'd out that Tatta was come which occasioned Mr. Soaper and Examinant to go up the same tree again when they discover'd negros mostly women to the number of about 100 running away with loads and a great many children up the opposite mountain, where there seemed to be a broad road: upon which Soaper ordered them to march down to the town etc. They came to the edge of a precipice just over the town, and Soaper thinking there might be some difficulty in geting down ordered them to stay there that night and about eight at night he ordered them to fire off their pieces (as he said to clear their arms) which they did in three vollies. About 9 or 10 (the rebels continuing beating their drums) one of Col. Nedham's negros belonging to the party called out to the rebels to send home his master's negros, and was answered by the rebels that they would not etc. At dawn Capt. Soaper ordered about 20 men to march down the precipice to the town as an advanced party. And upon their geting down the negros that lay in ambush fired upon them, upon which Soaper called to them to return etc. Examinant perceived that they were surrounded by the negroes who fired from all parts, whereby several were wounded and two killed etc., which fire the party returned and continued firing at each other for about two hours and seeing the negros got ground of them Soaper ordered the wounded and lame to retire down to a river, which they attempting to do were surrounded by other rebels which he believed lay there in ambush, upon which the wounded returned to the body (but 20 of the negros belonging to the party made their escape) and with the rest of the party retired into the bushes. The negros pursued no further, but fired volleys and huzza'ed. Upon which the party to the number of 46 returned the same way they went etc. The rebels that attacked them were near 300. Signed, Nich. Plysham. Same endorsement. Copy. 2¾ pp.
311. iii. Examination of Capt. Samuel Soaper before the Governor and Council on above events, 25th June, 1730. Signed, Saml. Soaper. Same endorsement. Copy. 2¾ pp.
311. iv. Examination of Capt. Ascroft before the Committee of Assembly, 18 June, 1730. Same endorsement. Copy, ¾ p.
311. v. Governor Hunter's Speech to the Council and Assembly 17th June, 1730. Recommends strengthening of Militia. Refers to above disaster. If the accounts he has received are verified, it appears to be the effect of something worse than cowardice. His view has always been that the proper way to reduce the rebels is to establish posts in the several passes of the mountains in easy communication with the settlements etc. Reminds them of the general decay of credit, one cause of which is the arbitrary value of their coin. If no steps are taken to ascertain it in accordance with his former proposals, he will have to put the Act of Parliament for that effect in execution etc. Copy of The Weekly Jamaica Courant, No. 688, June 24, 1730, containing above. Jamaica, Printed by M. Baldwin, 1730. Price one bit, or 7. 6. per quarter. Same endorsement. 4 pp.
311. vi. Address of the Assembly to Governor Hunter in reply to preceding. Regret failure of expedition and agree that it was due to something worse than cowardice. Will proceed in the affairs now before them with the utmost harmony and vigour etc. Same endorsement. Copy. 1¼ pp.
311. vii. Resolution of Assembly 19th June, 1730, confirming resolves of Committee of Council and Assembly, for the raising of parties to reduce the rebellious negroes. Same endorsement. Copy. 1 1/8 pp.
311. viii. Resolution of Committee of Council and Assembly, 19th June, 1730, "that it was absolutely necessary to think of securing the Island in case a rupture should happen with any of our neighbours, and that therefore it would be necessary either to apply for a body of troops, or to fall into some more effectual measures, than had been hitherto done for rendring the Militia more useful." To which the House disagreed. Same endorsement. Copy. ½ p.
311. ix. Deposition of John Tello, 18th June, 1730. When at Panama and Porto Bello, deponent was informed by the Father Confessor of the Governor of Porto Bello that there were 30,000 rebellious negroes in Jamaica, and that they had written to the Governor of Caicas, (? Carracas) offering to put the island into the possession of the King of Spain, if he would grant them their freedom. The Governor sent a sloop with a negro messenger in reply etc. Signed, Jno. Tello. Same endorsement. Copy, 1 1/3rd pp.
311. x. Deposition of Capt. William Quarrell. 23rd June, 1730. Deponent on a trading voyage to Cuba told some Spanish merchants that in seven years time we should have no more occasion for their mules, for this country would breed sufficient. They answered, that in less than half that time the Island would be theirs, quoting above story (No. ix). Signed, Wm. Quarrell. Same endorsement Copy. 1½ pp.
311. xi. A calculation of the exports from Jamaica to Great Britain. 25,000 hhds. of sugar at 12l. sterl. Rum, 42,000l., 50,000 cwt. ginger, 20,000l. Total value, (besides cotton, fustick, indigo, piemento, ebony and lignum vitæ), 362,000l. sterl., paying 201,000l. duty and excise in Great Britain, and 84,834l. freight. 100,000 negroes valued at 25l. each; 200,000 head of cattle at 5l. each; sheep and other stock 20,000. 400 sugar works at 1000l. each. Same endorsement. 1 p.
311. xii. List of inhabitants of parish and precinct of St. Andrew. White men, 275; women, 117; children, 85; Free Negro, Indian and Mulatto men, 6; women, 14; children, 14; slaves, 7220; cattle, 5115. Same endorsement 1 p. [C.O. 137, 18. ff. 78–80v., 81v., 82, 83v.–88, 89v.–92v., 93v.–94v., 95v., 96, 97v.–98v., 99v.–100v., 101v.–103v.]
July 4.
312. Governor Hunter to the Duke of Newcastle. Encloses following, in order to save his Grace the trouble of a similar long letter etc. Signed, Ro. Hunter. Endorsed, R. 13th Sept. 1 p. Enclosed,
312. i.–xiii. Copies of preceding letter and enclosures. [C.O. 137, 53. ff. 221, 222v., 223, 225–226, 227–228, 229, 231–233v., 235, 235v., 237, 239, 239v., 241, 243, 244, 245–247v.]