America and West Indies: September 1735, 16-30

Pages 59-72

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 42, 1735-1736. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1953.

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September 1735, 16-30

Sept. 16.
107. Council of Trade and Plantations to Committee of Privy Council. Representation on report of Governor Fitzwilliam etc., 6th March, as to fortifications and stores required, and address of Council and Assembly of the Bahama Is. (14th Aug.). Represent that, with respect to the repairs and additional works necessary to be made to the Fort of Nassau etc., the expence of them according to Mr. FitzWilliam's estimate including 350 pounds for the purchase of a house and lands belonging to Captain Phenney, upon which it is proposed to erect a new redoute, would amount to upwards of 12,200 pounds; but as we are not competent judges of fortifications, or the charge of raising them, we can only say in general that considering the importance of the Bahamas with regard to their situation, which makes them a proper station for light frigates, either for the protection of our own trade or the annoyance of an enemy, we are humbly of opinion that these Islands ought to be properly fortifyed; and if this was well done, the security resulting from thence would naturally be the means of drawing great numbers of inhabitants thither; but the manner of performing this service, and the reasonableness of the sum demanded for the execution of it are points wch., for want of necessary information, we must submit to your Lordships' wisdom. As to the ordnance, cannon shot and other stores of war desired by Mr. FitzWilliam, we presume his calculation of these particulars was formed in proportion to the additional works projected for Fort Nassau. [C.O. 24, 1. pp. 305–308.]
[Sept. 16] 108. Memorial of John Yeamans, Agent for Antigua, to the Council of Trade and Plantations. States right of Great Britain to St. Lucia, St. Vincent's and Dominica, which have by constant usage been inserted in the commissions of the Governors of Barbados. Notwithstanding, several families subjects of the Crown of France are not only settled at St. Vincent's and Dominica, but are also under a civill government there. Tho' the French have lately pretended to evacuate St. Lucia, there are still some few families remaining there, which, they alledge, it would be a breach of humanity to remove. But there is just reason to suspect, that under ye guise of humanity, the French only cover other designs very destructive in their consequences to the British America islands. They have by degrees encompass'd all H.M. Sugar Colonies in America; and being prodigiously encreas'd in strength and riches since the Peace of Utrecht, will have it in their power in time of warr, not only to ruin the trade and commerce of the British subjects in those parts, but also to render all their possessions exceedingly precarious etc. Submits to their Lordships' consideration, whether immediate measures should not be taken to checque these growing settlements of the French upon islands claim'd of right by the Crown of Great Britain, and in particular whether the succeeding Governor of Barbadoes, in conjunction with the Governor of the Leeward Islands, should not be directed absolutely to insist upon the totall evacuation of St. Lucia, St. Vincent's and Dominica. Endorsed, Recd. Read Sept. 16, 1735. 2 1/3 pp. [C.O. 28, 24. ff. 127–128 v. and 152, 40. No. 43 i.]
Sept. 16.
109. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Duke of Newcastle. Enclose following received since representation of 11th inst. Autograph signatures. 1 p. Enclosed,
109. i. Copy of representation of Mr. Yeamans (v. preceding). 2 pp. [C.O. 152, 40. Nos. 43, 43 i, and 324, 12. p. 42.]
[Sept. 17] 110. Petition of [? Mr. Ochs] to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Petitioner hath these 2 years been much troubled with a good number of German and Swiss Protestants, who desir'd him to assist them with advice, and help them to a passage for America, and considering them as strangers, hath assisted them, with the utmost care, and fidelity, loss of much time, and expence, to the best of his knowledge, and their intire satisfaction; But having considered that the chief service will be, to take also care that they may be well settled together, upon good land, in a healthy situation, and temperate climate, that they may be assisted with good instruction to improve the land, to the best advantage of this Kingdom, in producing such commoditys as are chiefly desired and wanting etc., petitioner humbly proposes to their Ldships. to grant them a tract of land about 20 miles long and broad, lying in Virginy and North Carolina on the mountains, 'tis there desir'd for the healthiness of the air, and when that tract be settled to have another to chuse in that neighbourhood, and so increasing farther, for which end 'tis humbly desir'd that no land be taken up by other persons for some limited distance, that the extending of this Colony may not be interrupted: and if on any part the Indians may lay claim they shall be satisfy'd by agreemt. or avoyded: but as a settlent. at so remote a distance from the sea is very inconvenient and chargeable for land and watter carriage etc. requests that they may be encouraged by (i) Such foreign Protestant settlers may be natural subjects of this Kingdom without any charge or other fermality. (ii) Be exempt for 15 years from quit rents and then to pay 2s. sterl. pr. 100 acres yearly, (iii) To have land according to the established orders of the Province, 50 acres pr. head. All the land to be measured and registered free, and petitioner to have the benefit of measuring it out in parcels for the usual price in the country, (iv) A grant of money by the Government for necessary buildings, sawmills and tools etc. (v) Petitioner desires nothing of the people, to make their beginning the easier, but to execute this work duely, it will require great pains, trouble and considerable expences to establish proper orders in several citys of Germany and Swisserland, and to give the people printed instructions, how much money is required for their passage, and settlement, on which day they shall be att the appointed place to go down to Holland, where a ship shall be ready, to carry all those that can pay for their passage directly to America, and to warn all others, not to throw themselves in misery, no shipps being dispos'd to carry them over without paying for their passage, (vi) To perform all this etc., petitioner finds is too great a charge to do it att his own expence, therefore asks for the grant of an annual allowance for some years, and after it shall cease, that he may make some agreement with the people for his services to them, " 'tis hoped their ldships. will also grant him a certain quantity of land free from quit rent for ever." (vii) The people to carry with them all necessaries of linen, tools, arms, provisions etc., to be landed free from duty etc. (viii) As the Colony will be exposed to the Indians on the west side of the mountains, asks for a grant of guns and ammunition and small arms, for the erection of a fort, which will also secure the whole Province on the west side. (ix) If the Governments of Virginy and N. Carolina by order of the Board were to assist the people with some corn for a year's subsistence, and some live cattle, for 3 years, as doth the Government of S. Carolina for 6 years, it would be a great help etc. As many good workmen, willing to go, cannot pay for their passage, foreign Protestants as well as English subjects to be allowed to furnish them with funds for their voyage, at interest of 6 per cent., but for the first years nothing, upon mortgages of their lands, till they be in a condition to pay the capital, within 12 years etc. It is otherwise to be apprehended that their going out will be severely hindered, "for a little book of Mr. Purry by too much praise of Carolina and without instruction hath set the people on, for going there, which come without any certainty, or money, and the little they have, is spend't by a long ill-contriv'd and unseasonable voyage"—etc. All persons who are at the charge of settling the land, as well as those that live in the country, to be esteemed natural subjects of the Kingdom, so that they may possess land with a right title to sell or dispose of it etc. Endorsed, Read, Sept. 17, 1735. 3¼ pp. [C.O. 5, 1323. ff. 174–175 v.]
Sept. 18.
111. Mr. Popple to Mr. Fane. Encloses 5 Acts passed at St. Xtophers in 1731, 1733 and 1734, for his opinion in point of law. [C.O. 153, 16. f. 30.]
Sept. 18.
112. Council of Trade and Plantations to Lt. Governor Armstrong. Since our letter to you of the 11th of September, 1734, we have receiv'd yours of the 24th of October following, and on the 14th of January last with the Minute of Council relating to Mrs. Agatha Campbell and Coll. Hart's grant of land. You have not in either of these letters given us any answer to that part of our last, which related to the duties you formerly mentioned to be payable at Canso, and therefore we desire you will do it by the first opportunity. We likewise desire you will inform us, at the same time: what numbers of English inhabitants there are there or in any other part of the Province, and how many effective men there are actually in the regiment in Nova Scotia. We have consider'd the alteration you propose relating to the Quit rents, but we do not apprehend it would have the effect you expect from it. The only probable method to people the Province is to form a civil government there; but until there are English enough to compose an Assembly this cannot be done; we therefore desire you will send us what information you may be able to procure upon this subject, that from the returns we shall receive from you we may judge what possibility there may be, of compleating a civil government in Nova Scotia. We have reconsidered what you wrote about the want of presents, to keep the Indians our friends, and we shall take an opportunity of laying our opinion thereupon before H.M. So we bid you heartily farewel— Your very loving friends and humble servants etc. [C.O. 218, 2. pp. 320, 322.]
Sept. 18.
113. Mr. Popple to Mr. Attorney and Mr. Solicitor General. By the Charter of the Massachusetts Bay, all pine trees of a certain dimension, not growing upon any soil or tract of land within that Province, theretofore granted to any private persons, are reserved for the King's use, as by an extract of the said Charter hereunto annexed appears; but the people of the Massachusetts Bay, in order to elude this reservation in behalf of the Crown, do pretend that part of their Province having been long before the date of the said Charter, the private property of Sr. Ferdinando Gorges, from whom the Massachusetts Bay purchas'd the same, all trees growing upon that tract of land do belong to them, and are not included in the aforesaid reservation, upon which some persons have brought actions against the Contractor's Agents for furnishing the Royal Navy with masts, and obtained judgement in New England against them for cutting such trees, and also other actions for cutting of smaller trees in order to come at the larger, and clearing ways to hall them to proper places for shipping them off; whereon judgements have been obtain'd against the Contractor's Agents, and appeals refused. I am also desired by my Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations for your further information to send you the inclosed papers, which contain a full account of these transactions; and as my Lords think this a matter of very great importance to the Crown, their Lordships desire your opinion upon it as soon as conveniently may be. [C.O. 5, 917. pp. 146, 147.]
Sept. 19.
114. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Queen, Guardian of the Realm etc. Propose John Williams, Senr., to supply a vacancy in the Council of St. Xtophers caused by the resignation of Peter Soulegre. [C.O. 153, 16. pp. 32, 33.]
[Sept. 19.] 115. Henry Popple to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Memorial in behalf of Montserrat. Abstract. Scarcely one-third of the inhabitants have any small arms. They are unable to purchase them, hurricanes and drought for several years having very often destroyed a great part of their crops and prevented their recovery from plundering of the Island by the French in 1712. H.M. has been graciously pleased to direct that a quantity of small arms should be sent for the defence of this Island. Yet as these must necessarily be kept as a store in reserve against actual invasion, the Council and Assembly, taking into consideration the prospect of a war in Europe etc. passed an Act for the better supplying this island with small arms, to continue for 7 years, laying a duty of 4d. pr. ton upon every ship over 25 tons burthen loading produce of the island, to be laid out upon the purchase of a further quantity of small arms. Governor Mathew has instructed the Memorialist that he thought himself obliged in duty to H.M. to reject the said Act, though convinced of its absolute necessity, in regard that he is expressly directed by one of his Instructions not to pass any Act, by which the trade or shipping of this kingdom may be affected. This very small temporary duty, only affecting ships returning loaden with produce of the island, is the only method for effecting this service. Suggests that it may therefore be allowed to pass, for instead of being a charge on the trade of this Kingdom, it will actually be a service to it, by perhaps preventing the total loss of the island etc. Signed, Henry Popple. Endorsed, Recd. Read 19th Sept., 1735. 1 p. Enclosed,
115. i. Act of Montserrat for the better supplying this island with small arms. Passed the Council and Assembly, 19th Sept., 1734. Copy. 3 pp. [C.O. 152, 21. ff. 176, 177–178, 179 v.]
Sept. 27.
116. W. Shirreff, Secretary of Nova Scotia, to the Duke of Newcastle. Having sufficient assurances given of being represented as an obstructor of H.M. service and disrespectfull to his orders in not countersigning, as Secretary, a patent under the seal of this Province of Nova Scotia thereunto affixed, signed and granted by the Honourable Lieutenant Governor Armstrong in favour of John Hart, Esqr., I most humbly beg leave to lay before your Grace my reasons for so doing and with all due regard and submission submit them to your Grace's serious consideration: being as follows: 1st. That Governor Armstrong hath, without the advice of H.M. Council here, departed from the letter of H.M. Instructions, in altering the boundarys of that part of the Peninsula petitioned for and prescribed by H.M. to be granted to the petitioner and laid out by Mr. Geo. Mitchell, one of the Deputy Surveyors, conformable to H.M. Instructions: he hath made it a triangle instead of an oblong and extended it on one side towards the Bay of Fundy thirteen leagues and a half instead of twelve leagues eastward to the mainland as directed by H.M. 2ndly. That he of his own accord without any such a report from the Surveyors or advice of Council computed said triangle to contain two hundred thousand acres; of which in the patent he makes one hundred thousand only profitable and requires quit rent for the profitable only. 3rdly. That by running the hypothenuse of his said triangle along the sea shore, and not eastward as H.M. directed is not only in prejudice of your Grace and others nominated by him to be proprietors of lands at Chiconecto, but by so doing rendered the backlands entirely unprofitable, and consequently, according to the tenour of the Patent he hath thus granted without the advice of Council, of no profit to H.M. 4thly. In vindication of myself and the other gentlemen of the Council, I presume to assure your Grace that all due regard hath been had to H.M. order in favour of the petitioner etc. Refers to Minutes of Council. 5thly. The Lieut. Governor never laid either the patent or a scrawl thereof before the Council or so much as asked their advice thereon and he hath since asserted that he had sufficient authority of himself for so doing etc. Signed, W. M. Shirreff. 3 pp. Enclosed,
116. i. Minutes of Council of Nova Scotia. 23rd Sept., 1735, 30th Nov., 1734. 4 pp.
116. ii. A Map of a Peninsula situate in ye Bay of Fundy surveyed by order of the Honble. Laurence Armstrong, Esqr., Lieut. Governor, etc. by Mr. Geo. Mitchell and Mr. Edward Amhurst, Deputy Surveyors. 2 pp. [C.O. 217, 39. ff. 144–145, 146–147, 148–149, 150 v., 151.]
Sept. 27.
117. Lt. Governor Armstrong to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I did myself the honour to write to your Lordships in January last, and then lay before you the true state of Mrs. Campbel's case, and my opinion thereupon; which, I hope, your Lordships has received. I went up the Bay of Fundy in Aprile last, and had an opportunity to talk to the inhabitants, who I found not only very complaisant, but seemingly well affected to H.M. interest, in which I encouraged them, tho'. I well knew how little sincere they were in that profession, my presence being then the only thing that moved them to make a pretended shew of their loyalty; and it is impossible that they will ever be kept in any manner of subjection unless a block house was erected, and a strong party of soldiers placed amongst them; for they are not only of themselves rebelliously inclin'd, but they also incite the Indians, upon all occasions, to give us disturbance; and it is impossible at this distance to over-rule them by strength; and as I have often observed to your Lordships before, the only way to secure the Indians to our interest would be by sending over annual presents; and by this means both their tra[de] and affection would be attached to our Government; But this I refer to your Lordships' better judgement. Upon my return from the Bay of Fundy I went to Canso, where I spent most part of this summer. I found that place in great confusion, and received and heard the complaints of the inhabitants and fishermen against Capt. Aldridge, the then Commandt.; for which reason I removed him from that command, gave him leave of absence for eight months, and left Major Mascarene to command at Canso, who is a worthy honest man, and make no doubt will please the inhabitants better. I beg leave to observe to your Lordships that if a fortifycation was built in that place, it would add very much yearly to H.M. revenues; and without such a fortifycation there can be no dependence upon any safety there; it is true there has been a good fishery there this year, and I believe between 30 and 40,000 quintals of fish cured upon the Island; but this was chiefly owing to the encouragement that I published in the prints at Boston last winter; and shall leave nothing undone to forward the good of that place. I am under a promise to the fishermen and inhabitants to go there next summer, which I intend to perform; and this Fall I am informed there is good expectations from the whale fishery. There is no alterations in the state of the Province since my last; when any happens I shall do myself the honour to acquaint your Lordships. Signed, L. Armstrong. Endorsed, Recd. 4th Feb., Read 7th May, 1736. 2 2/3 pp. [C.O. 217, 7. ff. 168–169 v.]
Sept. 29. 118. Petty expenses of the Board of Trade, Midsummer to Michaelmas, 1735. v. Journal. 5 pp. [C.O. 388, 80. ff. 138, 139, 140–141.]
Sept. 29.
in St. John's
119. Capt. Lee, Governor of Newfoundland, to Mr. Popple. Encloses following. Is sailing from Newfoundland on Oct. 1. Signed, J. H. Lee Endorsed, Recd. Nov. 20, Read Dec. 4, 1735. Addressed. ¾ p. Enclosed,
119. i. Capt. Lee's replies to Heads of Enquiries. (1) On my arrival the principall inhabitants being ordered to attend, H.M. Commission was with due solemnity read and published. (2) During my stay in the Island, there were none convicted of murthers, felonies or other capitall crimes. At my first arrival at St. John's I was acquainted, that there were three persons, under confinement in the common jail, on suspicion of being guilty of a murther committed in the spring at Ferryland, two of which persons made their escape through the wall of the said jail, during my being in the harbour, before I cou'd bring them to examination, but by what I cou'd find by the information of the justices of the Peace, who committed them, the evidence against them was cheifly circumstantiall. I have levied a small tax or rather subscription on the district of St. John's to make the jail next Spring more secure and thereby to prevent such escapes for the future. (3) I went to Placentia and during my stay there, I had some complaints from the inhabitants, that sometimes the officers of the garrison had meddled in the civil government, tho' not so much of late, as in late Lieutt, Governour's time. I could no ways find the officers concerned themselves with the fishery, nor possess'd themselves of any beaches, stages &c. I left the most strict orders in the hands of the Justices of the Peace; commanding the officers not to interfere out of the garrison on any pretence. (4) I did all in my power to hinder the engrossing commodities, but beleive 'tis here, as in most other place, the richest people will take their oppertunitys of advantaging that way. (5) I have herewith transmitted to your Lordships the best account, I cou'd gett of all ordnance stores, lately sent the garrison, what has been lost and decay'd and the whole remaining in the fort. The state of the fort, for so small a one as it is, is in good condition, but on my reveiwing the soldiers and mustering them, I cou'd not find above seventeen cou'd appear, out of which about six, are quite unserviceable thro' age, and 'tis pitty they are not provided for in Chelsea, I enquir'd the reason why? the company was so short of their number, which should be thirty-two effective men, but cou'd get no answer, but that they wou'd recruit, as soon as possible. The small arms in the garrison are so bad, that very few of them are serviceable. (6) By my observations on this coast all draughts and mapps, that I cou'd see, had their diff'rent mistakes, more pticularly on the S.Wt. part of the Island, which 'tis a pity we are nott better acquainted with, many rocks being there, whose bearings are unknown and very dangerous to shipping, pticularly ships of H.M. who draw much water. I have been able to procure a pretty good draught of St. John's Harbour and beg [? bay] as also of the little Bay of Placentia, which is at your Lordship's service. (7) The Act of the fifteenth of King Charles the Second for the encouragement of trade, is very little minded, as I am very well inform'd, wines and brandy in great quantitys are every year by vessels imported into all parts of Newfoundland, who are cheifly loaded with salt, from France, Spain or Portugall, I gave strict orders to the Captains who were under my command to do their utmost to hinder this kind of smugling and to make seizure of such commodities prohibited and the vessels who imported them, according to the said Act. I found the proof very difficult, tho' the said wines and brandy, are in use every day ashoar, and 'tis my opinion, that if there was a Judge of the Admiralty in this Island, it wou'd hinder these abuses, as it wou'd deter Masters of merchant ships, because their vessels cou'd then be adjudged and condemned on conviction in Newfoundland. While I was at Placentia, I made seisure of a snow, call'd the Eagle Galley and had sufficient proof of her having imported both brandy and wine directly from France. I was cautious of acting wrong to my prejudice; and the master of the said snow, together with Mr. Gledhill, son to the Lieutt. Governour of the Fort, making oath that the said brandy and wine were for the use of the said Lieutt. Governour, and not for sale; I permitted the snow to proceed on her voyage, the Master giving me bond for five hundred pounds ster. to make good the outsell of the said snow, if H.M. or your Lordships shou'd incline to prosecute the affair further. (8) I cou'd not hear of any meeting of people, but in the publick churches; 'tis true, there are more Irish Papists, then of all sorts of people in the Island, but they are so happy that they have not a preist amongst them, as I cou'd ever find or hear of. (9) The Bishop of London's Petition to his late Majesty, was to be sure, very well design'd, I am apt to beleive some malicious persons have misrepresented the inhabitants of the Island to his Lordship. Blasphemy, prophaneness, adultery, fornication, poligamy and incest are crimes, I never had any complaints of, while in this part of the world. If I had, due care shou'd have been taken to suppress such vices, prophanation of the Sabath and swearing I discountenanc'd as much as possible and the seafareing people, much the same sort of people here as in their behaviour in other seaport towns in England etc. (10) The parson at St. John's, is far from giving any offence by his actions, being a very discreet person; he is the only clergiman I saw in the Island besides one aboard of my own ship. (11) A table of Marriages was ready hung up in the church here, before my arrivall, and due regard is had to the same. (12) I hope I have no ways exceeded the limitation of my Commission, nor has any occasion requir'd I shou'd, if the interest of the Island shou'd at any time require, what is not allowed or provided for by the sd. Commission, your Lordships shall have immediate notice thereof. (13, 14, and 15) These three Articles I have observed to the best of my knowledge, and herewith your Lordships will have the best information I cou'd obtain on the following Articles. (16) I gave the Admiralls most strict ordrs. in relation to this Article, and cou'd not find, that the practice of throwing out ballast &c. had been encourag'd in the great harbours, but had done great damage in some of the little harbours to the No. ward, by almost choaking them up. (17) The inhabitants take care no person at his departure shall deface, or pull down, the stages, cook rooms, etc., it being their advantage to keep them standing. (18) The Admiralls being first in the harbours, take care of themselves, there are often disputes about flakes and beach room, from which come complaints which are often brought before the Comanders of His Maitie.'s ships to be decided. (19) I believe the inhabitants have relinquisht all the stages etc. pursuant to the Act of Parliament: there were no complaints to the contrary. (20) I beleive this Article is very well observed; there were no complaints to the contrary. (21) This Article is not well observed, the byboat keepers and masters of ships have great quarrels about it, which is often very troublesome to the comandrs. of His Maitie.'s ships. (22) I do not find this Article observ'd: many ships come here from France, Portugall and Spain, they being such as they can gett, many of whom are Irish Roman Catholicks. (23) The inhabitants employ mostly Irish Papists and those often such miserable creatures, that nowhere else they wou'd earn bread. (24) There are many roguerys of this sort comitted every year, as it often appears in Court, where sufferers make their complaint and are releived. (25) I beleive this Article very well observed. (26) This Article is pretty well observ'd, they are jealous of one another and are very watchfull. (27) There is very little ordr. observed by the fishing ships, before the arrivall of the men-of-war, the Admirals are often very ignorant fellows, and carry little weight in their station, they seldom have a notion of the Act of Parliament and often don't know there is such a one. (28) The Admiralls determine differences touching the fishery, and the persons who suffer by their determination, most commonly appeal to the comanders of men-of-war, and complain, often not without reason, of partiallity amongst the Admiralls. (29) The Lord's Day is the only holliday fishing people have in the week, I did forbid the vending liquors on that day, but 'tis impossible to hinder it. (30) There are many people, from H.M. Plantations and Collonies, who have never resided in Great Brittain. I conceive I had no authority to molest them. (31) I have in my annext scheme given your Lordships the most exact account of every part of this Article. (32) The upper sort of people have some cattle of all sorts and poultry of all sorts from New England, having a great deal of good grass, wch. feeds sheep &c. in the summer time and affords every one a little hay against the winter, the poorer sort of people live very hard, and often die in winter time for want. (33) I cou'd not find that the inhabitants cou'd be supply'd with sail cloth, netts, and tackle any where so cheap as from England, none of the Plantations use the same sort of fishing geer. (34) The inhabitants agree with their servants according to their merit, the manner they pay them is scandalous, they give them the cheif part and often the whole in rum and some cloaths at a most exorbitant price. (35) The whole charge of fitting out a boat for the season is about one hundred and twenty pounds ster. (36) The inhabitants employ no more servants then they want, when they are making fish. Some times, in rainy wear, the servts. cannot work about the fish, then the masters employ them, in any work they have to do, in their houses or in the fields. There is no difference in the prices offish, that depending wholly on the goodness. They generally allow four men to each boat. (37) As soon as the fishing ships are gone, they have no time to be idle, those that are able to bear the cold are usefull to their masters in cutting wood for fuell and other timber for building of flakes, houses, stages, etc. (38) There is a trade here for furrs, wch. has not been encreas'd of late years, rather lessned; some people here tell stories of Indians have been seen some years ago, I am certain they have no tramck now, nor did I see one person in Newfoundland had ever seen an Indian. (39) The cheif part of St. John's Town is close to the watersides, the fishing people have it to themselves, so they cannot complain. (40) The inhabitants claim a right to all such stages and flakes, as they have built on places not possess'd in the year 1685 and hire out such as they do not use themselves. (41) The people proportion their flakes according to the number of fish they take. They build them in shape according to the form of the ground oftentimes, but mostly where the ground is even, they build up into the country. (42) I don't beleive there has been any just register kept of the fishing places at the year 1685. What was the property of the fishing skiprs, and what of the inhabitants? I never met any disputes of this kind. (43) The fishing ships that come from Great Britain, are victuall'd from thence, but many ships in their passage call in Ireland, where they take in passengers, as well as provisions, neither of which are to the interest of the English trade. (44) No master of a ship is allow'd to be Admirall, unless he produces his certificate of having clear'd out of the Custom-House of some port of England. (45) The masters of ships in general, know very well what is their privilidge and are often troublesome by making complaints without reason. (46) The by-boat keepers generally hire stages, flakes, etc. of the planters by lease for a term of years, or else they build them every year when they come, in places not belonging to the ships. (47) The ships from Biddeford and Barnstaple, are the only ships that go on shares with their company's now: the charge of fitting out a ship of one hundred tons, ten boats and fifty men, is about a thousand pounds ster. (48) There has been always a clandestine trade carried on, by the ships, who bring salt from France, Spain and Portugall, as I have given your Lordships an account in my answer to the seventeenth Article etc. (49) The said commodities are in general us'd every day amongst the fishery and on shoar. I can't say wether they supply New England, or the other Plantations from hence with them. (50) I have heard that there is brought to Newfoundland every year, great quantities of rum, the whole in the diff'rent harbours I cou'd not learn, there is also great quantities of tobacco, bread and flower wth. molosses, but cou'd not find they carry on any indirect trade from hence to Portugall or Spain or any other part. (51) The merchants of New England, sell their goods, as it happens, sometimes for fish, at other times for bills of exchange, if they take fish, 'tis the cheapest sort, which makes their returns either by selling said fish at Madera, the Western Islands, or in the West Indies for the negroes. I cou'd never find what ye value of the goods sold by them amounted to. (52) In St. John's I beleive there are twelve publick houses, kept by the inhabitants. I suffer'd them by licenses, wch. I was cautious of giving, without security of the behaviour of the persons, who kept them: the Masters of the ships and by-boat keepers sell their own servants liquor themselves, often times to more value then the amount of their wages at a most extortionable price. (53) There is great poverty amongst the top inhabitants, they all I beleive are more or less guilty of this Article. (54) They pay three or four pounds for their passage, the inhabitants and boat keepers sometimes pay the masters for their servants' passage part in fish, but all the rest is ballanc'd by the manner expresst in this Article. (55) The practice of trusting amongst the fishermen is certainly the foundation of all disturbances and of great prejudice to the trade, but it will be very hard to reform the abuse. (56) The Masters of the fishing ships do, I find, encourage their servts. to stay behind or go to New England to save them the expence of sending them home, I cou'd not find the exact number that stay'd last year. (57) The New England traders do entice seafaring people and others, all they can, and I have reason to beleive the inhabitants assist them therein. (58) I was not wanting in my utmost endeavours to prevent Masters of New England vessels from carrying off people from Newfoundland, to which end, I obliged all such Masters of ships bound there to give proper bonds of five hundred pounds ster. with five hundred for their security's well wittnessed, which bonds are broke if they carry any person or persons hence to New England, without my pass. I have herewith transmitted to your Lordships the sd. Bonds. (59) I represented the complaints of the Consuls and Merchants abroad to the Admlls. and I strictly enjoined them to be very carefull as to this Article, that the Mastrs. of ships take better care, the Admiralls assure me that everybody takes the greatest care, which I think very natural to imagine for their own interest, they wou'd else be soon ruin'd. I ordered the Admiralls to return me the names of such who were remiss in this affair. By what I cou'd find, five hogsheads of good salt will cure sixty quintalls of good fish. The fish taken on the Banks, is no ways equal to that caught in shoar, as they have not immediate conveniency of curing it. (60) I cou'd not learn any certain acct. of the French fishery, more then that they are very successfull, and that they cure their fish so that it bears a better price at markett then ours. (61) I did hear there were some few French fishemn. at St. Peters very poor, quiet people. I was myself at Placentia, there is but one family of French remaining there, wch. is accounted the most orderly in Placentia. (62) I cou'd not find, that the French are guilty of the breach of this Article and am apt to beleive by all that I cou'd learn, that they are very observing of the Treaty of Utrech in that particular. (63) I cou'd not find the officers of the garrison at Placentia concern'd themselves with the fishery and I gave strict orders that they shou'd not. (64) I shoud have been very glad to have contributed what I cou'd towards the salmon fishery, but find it has been very small this year, as appears by the fishing scheme I send your Lordships herewith. (65) Severall of the Justices of Peace appointed by Heny. Osbourne, Esqr., in this country, many of them are since dead and gone away ; I appointed some new ones, who were people of the best character I cou'd find ; it is very difficult to find those, who will act in the Commission, as they complain that their authority is little observ'd, especially after the departure of his Maitie.'s ships. There have been great differences between the fishing Admiralls and Justices of the Peace, I endeavour always to convince them of their different authoritys and hope I have done some service therein. I observ'd the Admiralls are often very ignorant fellows and have sometimes a stupid notion of the Act for the encouragement of trade to Newfoundland, which they think contains all laws and every regulation to be obser'd either aboard or on shore. The Justices of the Peace are jealous, that the Admiralls take too much upon them ; on this account, 'tis difficult to get anybody to accept of the Comission. (66) etc. The fishing scheme is as exact as he could form it. "There was indeed a fishery at St. Peter's and in some other little creeks of the Island. I was never able to obtain any certain account of them" etc. Signed, J. H. Lee. Endorsed, Recd. Nov. 20, Read Dec. 4, 1735. 9¾ large pp. Enclosed,5—(1).
119. i. Account of Ordnance Stores at Placentia, Aug. 19, 1735. Signed, Will. Sanderson. Same endorsement. 9½ pp.
119. ii. State of the planters and inhabitants of Newfoundland, 1735. Details given by harbours. Totals ;— Houses, 468. Lands improved, 124 acres. Number of inhabitants, 3995, including 226 children. Remained in the country last winter, 3,250. Births (since departure of last convoy), 72; deaths, 11. Same endorsement. 1 p.
119. iii. Scheme of the Fishery at Newfoundland, 1735. Details given by harbours. Totals :—British and American fishing and sack ships, 239, 19,627 tons. Number of crews 3,056. Passengers, 2,138. Boats kept by by-boatmen and inhabitants, 1,003 (including 5 by American ships). Number of by-boatmen 1,885. Quintals of fish made, 419,075. Quintals carried to foreign markets, 404,725 ; and tierces of salmon, 490. Train oil made, 1,520. Prices of fish per quintal, 20 and 5 ; of salmon per tierce, 40 ; of train oil, 9 to 12 pounds. Value of seal oil, 3,379 pounds; of furs taken by inhabitants, 485 pounds. Number of stages, 446 ; of train fatts, 290. Same endorsement. 1 large p.
119. ivx. Copies of seven bonds entered into by New England masters of vessels, not to carry any fishermen from Newfoundland, but what belong to their own ships. 7 pp. [C.O. 194, 10. ff. 1, 2 v.–8, 9–13 v., 14 v.–16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 22 v.]