America and West Indies: October 1735, 11-20

Pages 76-84

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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October 1735, 11-20

Oct. 11.
129. Duke of Newcastle to Lt. Governor Broughton. Encloses copy of Act of Georgia for maintaining the peace with the Indians, "of which you will take notice accordingly, and, as far as it may concern you, I am persuaded, you will take care, that due obedience be had thereto." Signed, Holles Newcastle. Copy. Annexed,
129. i. Order in Council confirming above Act, quoted. Signed, Wm. Sharpe. Copy. [C.O. 324, 36. pp. 530–549.]
Oct. 13.
St. James's.
130. Order of Queen, Guardian of the Kingdom etc., in Council. Approving representation of Council of Trade, and ordering that the Act of S. Carolina for appropriating £104,775 1s. 3¼d. to lie by probationary. Signed, W. Sharpe. Endorsed, Recd. 4th, Read 5th Dec, 1735. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 365. ff. 19, 20 v.]
Oct. 13.
St. James's
131. Order of Queen in Council. Approving draught of an additional Instruction for the Governor of S. Carolina relating to paper money and appropriateing thereof. Signed and endorsed as preceding. 4 pp. [C.O. 5, 365. ff. 21–22 v., 23 v.]
Oct. 13. 132. Capt. Burrington to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Replies to Governor Johnston's statement of the case of blank patents (v. 25th May). Abstract. As he cannot suspect that a gentleman endowed with so much wisdom should want knowledge, cannot refrain from mistrusting that he has too much an eye to his own profit etc. (1) It is very true that after the Lords Proprietors signified their pleasure to Governor Eden, there were no more purchase warrants issued, but as that Province had been many years harassed by dangerous wars with the Indians, some persons who had taken out warrants for lands, were afraid to fix in Bath County during the said wars, but when peace succeeded, part of the proprietors of those warrants required patents for the quantity of land specified in their respective warrants, which was unanimously consented to by Mr. Eden, then Governor, and the rest of the Proprietors' Deputies. The rest of the possessors of these sort of warrants were by different motives deterred from settling their families in Bath County, and therefore transferred them to others, more adventurous ; who always obtained patents on those warrants, when a survey was returned into the Secretary's Office. All this was well known to the Lords Proprietors ; they had yearly accounts of it; yet they never forbid, nor found fault with their Governour and Deputies. When I was their Governour, I signed about 20 such patents. Sir Richard Everard acted in the same manner etc. The warrants and patents were signed by at least one half of the Council etc. Criticises Mr. Johnston's statements in detail. Signed, Geo. Burrington. Endorsed, Recd., Read Oct. 14th, 1735. 9 1/3 pp. [C.O. 5, 294. ff. 206–210 v., 211 v.]
[Oct. 14.] 133. Address of Inhabitants of Bertie and Edgcombe precincts to Governor Gabriel Johnston. Your Excelly. in your answer to the Grand Jury's Address seemed to wonder that you should hear any more upon so unreasonable a subject, wee hope it will not be thought unreasonable that we should address yr. Excellcy. to protect our laws and liberties and that we may not be disquieted in the possession of our estates (tho' poor and mean) which we first paid for honestly and afterwards settled and improved with much hard labour from the barren woods exposed to the violent heat of the sun etc., many of us trusting to what Providence would lay in our way for food, sometimes a deer or bear, and sometimes a racoone, and many days nothing, a rare feast for industrious Protestants, and that many of our ancestors have fallen by the hands of the savage Indians we believe will not be worth mentioning. The fatigue of settling an estate in this Province your Excellcy.'s predecessor might have informed you, for no man living could have taken more pains and fatigue then he did to acquaint himself with this Province in general which his many journeys and travels into the back woods will justifye sometimes accompanied by one man only and often pinched with hunger (nay) in danger of perishing, haveing hut one biscake for three days to subsist on and sometimes coming amongst the inhabits, without a ragg of cloaths to his back perhaps 200 miles from the place he set out, often carrying with him considerable sums of money and disposeing of it among many poor people to encourage and enable 'em the better to settle the back lands, and altho' it had been alledged that Mr. Burrington had taken the great quantity of the King's lands to his own use, we say that most part of that land lies so far back that it can be of no service to Mr. Burrington or to any other for 100 years to come and even that he paid ready money for that it might encourage others to settle the back lands. Notwithstanding these many good offices which that worthy gent. has done for Province with many thousands more, he is now mangled with the imputations of violence, tyranny, perjury etc., and yet stands unconvicted of either of them all. which tho' never so pleasing to a few persons, at most a dozen, which we know to be the whole number of his enemys will never be grateful to the province in general, who will for ever (and deservedly) hold ever his memory in esteem and veneration ; the Ministry at home are not insensible how easy a matter it is to get an Assembly in the Plantations to asperse and callumniate a gentleman at a distance, especially as many precincts in this Province were not advised of their elections untill the very day of electing (witness Curntuck and Carteret precincts) the latter of which petitioned for redress but had his mouth soon stopped with an Office ; 'tis moreover evident that the Gentlemen who spoke their intentions freely and gave their sentiments as they thought for the good of their countrey did not only incurr great displeasure but were also hindred the means of getting their daily bread. Instance Mr. Samuel Swann and Mr. Walter Lane. Collo. Hanmer is likewise a suffering tho' innocent instance, who acted a Chief Justice of this Province by a Commission under the Seal of the Collony and by the general approbation of the Council and to the great satisfaction of all men with regard to dispatch, justice and levity and at a time when Mr. Smith now Chief Justice was not in the Province. Yet this Gentleman has been tossed into gaol and held there a winter's night and all manner of bail refused him, tho the best gentlemen in the country and the most responsible tendered themselves, and is now obliged to dispose of his estate here and in Virginia and to part from his family in hopes to be redress'd where liberty is not trampled under foot, which we hope he will meet with. Your Excelly. is pleased to call our deed of grant a temporary letter of attorney which subsisted two years only ; you may call it what you please Sr. but we are perswaded the Lords Proprietors meant as they wrote (if so) the Proprietors as may appear by their deed of grant directed their Council here to grant lands to any person in Albemarle County on the same tenure that lands were then held in Virginia which was 2s. p. 100 acres in tobbo. at one penny the pound as may appear by the laws of that Collony but when that was found to be a hardship on the inhabitants of Albemarle County by reason their lands would not produce tobbo. as well as the Virginia lands, the quit rents then became payable in other commodities at certain rates and at which rates these commodities were constantly received at every man's house and the said payments never refused by the Lords Proprietors but being content they sent directions in the year 1712 to their Receiver General here how he should dispose of these commodities, which plainly shews that not only the Lords Proprietors' deputies with the Representatives of the people here duly elected have settled the quit rents to be payable in our commodities here at certain prizes but there is also the Lords Proprietors' assent thereto, in directing their Receiver General how to dispose of said commodities, which according to the Charter is conclusive and makes the payment of the commodities at certain prizes indisputable in our opinion. Your Excelly. is pleased to call our laws shamefull collussions betwixt the Lords Proprietors' servants and their tenants to cheat their masters ; if our laws be what you are pleased to call them, we may be counted rather fools than cheats for settling on so slippery a foundation ; we are perswaded it would be little worth the Lords Proprietors' or their servants' while to make use of any collusions to undo the poor inhabitants of this Province which are many degrees poorer than any of H.M. subjects under Heaven. Your Excelly. also alledges that we make a great matter of paying the King two shillings p. hundred acres sterling and that, if we think it a hard bargain, that we may leave the king's land, for that they are the King's lands and not ours and that there to your Excellys' knowledge thousands of industrious Protestants that would come into our places gladly and pay the Crown double the rents without clamour or noise (we thank them kindly) and now answer that, if the lands we possess belong to the King, we have no bargain either hard or soft, but as we know our lands to be our own paying H.M. quit rents which we mean to do honestly, we are perswaded H.M. would not desire us to part from our lands and improvements here to any people whatsoever without first satisfying us for our labour, which when done we will readily quit the Province and seek out lands in our neighbouring Collonys where we may call the fruits of our labour our own and where collusions are not studied, and if your Excelly. be desirous we will leave the blood and carcasses of our ancesstors to help manure the ground for them which will somewhat help their industry. Your Excelly. seems acquainted with thousands of industrious Protestants who would gladly come into our places, wee will now venture to assert that H.M. in his whole Dominions has not a set of more faithfull Protestants than the inhabitants of North Carolina, for that we have not a single person amongst us who ever has been accused or found to be of any other perswasion, and we will venture to say that your Excelly. will not pick out of the many thousands you mention even one thousand who have not a hankering after some other religion, which we hope sufficient to prove us as faithfull Protestants as any others whatever. Wee are sorry to see your Excelly.'s Proclamation commanding us to pay our quit rent in sterling money or bills equivalent as your Excelly. and the Council will please to assess them, which we apprehend to be contrary to our laws and customs and even to the conditions of the Grand Deed. Wherefore we pray your Excelly. will please to withdraw said Proclamation and command the officers who are to collect the same to proceed according to the laws of this Province which you assented to by continuing the laws of '29 and which otherwise must end in the utter ruin of this poor Province, we further pray that your Excelly. will give some further time for the payment of the arrears of quit rent, the month of June being appointed for the first payment, which is a season of the year wherein no commodity of this Province will sell, nor is there any commodity in the countrey fit for the Virginia markett at that time of the year being the only place we have to get anything in return for our commodities from, and especially as the arrears of quit rent have not become due thro' any default of the tenants but by the officers in neglecting to receive the same and we make no doubt but a law will pass in the next Assembly very much to H.M. satisfaction and for the ease of the poor tenants. There is one thing more which we begg leave to lay before your Excelly. (to wit) the ill treatment the Grand Jury of this Province met with at the sitting of the last General Court at Edenton from William Smith Esqr., Chief Justice, who told the Grand Jury they were perjured and wondered they would not find a bill of indictment against Mr. Tho. Shervin of Edenton when the matter was so fully proved to them, and publickly ordered the Attorney General to bring all things before him by information for that he would trust nothing with such men, and moreover told Mr. William Mackey, a responsible freeholder, and then one of the petty Jury that he would perjure himself for a shilling, these are proceedgs. never before heard of in this Province and altogether contrary to the liberty of a British subject and to the power and priviledges of Grand Jury's. This we hope will be worth yr. Excelly's while to redress, seeing it immediately tramples liberty undr. foot etc. Endorsed, Recd, (from Capt. Burrington), Read 14th Oct., 1735. 2¾ pp. [C.O. 5, 294. ff. 212–213 v.]
Oct. 14.
134. Mr. Popple to Mr. Willes. In pursuance of letter of 4th Sept., encloses letter from the late Governor of N. Carolina upon the Blank patents there. Requests him to return the letter, and to meet the Board on Thursday next etc. [C.O. 5, 323, f. 112.]
Oct. 16.
St. Christophers.
135. Governor Mathew to Mr. Popple. Encloses in a box, Minutes of Assembly of St. Christophers, Jan. 26, 1730—Sept. 5, 1733; of Antigua, March 15, 1733—March 21, 1734; of Nevis, Aug. 24, 1730—Feb. 26, 1733, and April 29—June 21, 1735, of Montserrat, June 25—Aug. 14, 1735. Also an Act of St. Christophers, for the reviving of an Act to oblige all owners, renters or possesors of slaves to send a proportion of their slaves to work on the fortifications etc. Also papers for the Board in obedience to their orders of 17th June. Also a transcript of all the laws of Nevis 1714—1735. Signed, William Mathew. Endorsed, Recd. 16th Read 21st Jan., 1735. 1¾ pp. [C.O. 152, 22. ff. 38, 38 v., 41 v.]
Oct. 16.
St. Christophers.
136. Same to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses following in obedience to order of 17th June. Continues:—But I pray leave to observe to your Lordships that St. Christophers has been at a further expence, not mentioned in the within accompts, in fortifying that island, and which is not to be accounted for in Antigua and Nevis, nor in Montserrat separately from the accounts of those three islands now sent, because the method in those islands is to include the expence of negro labour in the amount of the several taxes rais'd. But 'tis not so in St. Christophers, where the inhabitants are by law oblig'd to furnish a quota of their negros to the fortifications without being accounted to or paid for such negro labour out of the Treasury. So that I humbly offer to your Lordships that the value of such labour for ten years past be added to the account now sent for St. Christophers, and by the most exact computation I can make it has not, at an averrage for those ten years, amounted to less than (vizt. for 160 negros communé a day at eighteenpence a day each for four years, art of the ten, to finish the fortifications that had been continually worked at for the five preceeding years) the summe of fifteen hundred pounds p. annum this currency for the whole ten years, etc. Refers to fortification of Nevis referred to in preceding, "which I hope will hereafter preserve that island from a total conquest, secure the women and children and best effects, and encourage the people to a vigorous defence. I have laid out the works for this purpose at a place calld Sadie Hill" etc. Signed and endorsed as preceding. 2 1/3 pp. Enclosed,
136. i. Account of Powder Money, Antigua, 1725–1734. Endorsed, Recd. 16th, Read 21st Jan., 1735/6. 1 p.
136. ii. Account of money raised in Antigua, 1725–1734. Totals, Duty on liquors imported, £20,829 15s. 9¼d. ; tax on land, £3,639 15s. 9¾d. ; tax on slaves, £29,997 11s. 9d.; house tax, £1,069 1s. 4½d. ; tax on sale of goods imported by transient traders (1725 only), £1,347 11s. 7½d. ; tavern and punch licences, £2,487 17s. l0d. ; tax on export of produce (1728 and 1729 only), £2,260 13s. 6d. ; tax on billiard tables, £300. Total, £61,932 7s. 8d. Endorsed, Recd. Read, Jan. 1735/6. 2 pp.
136. iii. Acts of Antigua laying taxes or duties 1725–1734. Endorsed, Recd, 16th, Read 21st Jan., 1735/6. 2 pp.
136. iv. List of Acts in force in 1731, and passed since, laying duties or impositions on trade and shipping of Great Britain, and of duties now payable on import or export of negroes, armes etc. or any goods and shipping. Endorsed, Recd. 16th, Read 21st Jan., 1735/6. 1½ pp.
136. v. Account of money raised in Nevis 1725–1734 inclusive. Tax on negroes, £11,478 18s. 6d. ; duty on liquors imported, £1,171 3s. 10d. ; exported £48 6s. 11d.; liquor licences, £240 18s. 6d. ; fines, £103 8s. ; duty on tonnage of vessels, £169 17s. 4½d. ; duty on sugar exported, 1729 only, £508 9s. Signed, Edwd. Bridgwater, Treasr. Oct. 1, 1735. Same endorsement. 2 pp.
136. vi. Account of powder duty and small arms, raised in St. Christophers, 1725–1735. Signed, Mansell Frank, Depty. Secr. Same endorsement. 4 large pp.
136. vii. List of laws in force, St. Christophers 1731, laying duties on trade and shipping. Signed and endorsed as preceding. 2¾ pp.
136. viii. Account of money raised in Montserrat 1725–1735. Total, £12,310 14s. 4d. Same endorsement. 2 pp.
136. ix. List of laws in force, Montserrat, 1731, laying duties on shipping of Great Britain, and imports of negroes, liquors, and goods. Same endorsement. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 22. ff. 39–40 v., 43, 44 v.–47 v., 48 v., 49 v., 50 v., 51 v.–58, 65 v., 66 v.]
Oct. 17.
137. Council of Trade and Plantations to Lord Commissioners of the Treasury. Enclose accounts of incidental charges of the Office, Midsummer to Michaelmas, and request payment for one quarter's salaries now due. v. Journal. [C.O. 389, 37. pp. 365, 366.]
Oct. 17. 138. Memorandum by the Trustees for Georgia etc. That the Duke of Newcastle could signify to the Lt. Governor of S. Carolina that H.M. had confirmed the Act for maintaining the peace with the Indians etc. 2/3 p. Enclosed,
138. i. Order in Council April 3, 1735, confirming and quoting Act referred to in preceding. Signed, Temple Stanyan. Copy. Printed by John Basket. 11 pp. [C.O. 5, 654. ff. 18, 20–25 v.]
Oct. 18.
139. Governor Talcott to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Replies to request for return of duties laid on British trade and shipping etc. In 1731 the only Act of the kind in force was an Act Concerning free trade, by which a duty of 12s. 6d. on every £100 of goods imported into this Colony was levied : which Act was explained by an Act of our Assembly in the fourth year of King George the first to be only on goods imported on the neighbouring provinces. Also an Act past by the sd. Assembly in the ninth year of King Charles the first laying a duty of fourpence pr. gallon on rhum imported into this Government in vessels not belonging to any of ye inhabitants of this Colony and of threepence pr. gallon when imported in vessells belonging to the inhabitants of this Colony which Acts are lying before your Lordships in the Law-book of this Colony lately transmitted to you. And since ye time above-mentioned no law has been passed laying any duty in any of the cases mentioned by your Lordship etc. Signed, J. Talcott. Endorsed, Recd. 12th April, Read 20th Oct., 1736. l 1/3 pp. [C.O. 5, 1268. ff. 206, 206 v., 210 v.]
Oct. 20.
Spanish Town.
140. Mr. Concanen (Attorney General, Jamaica) to the Duke of Newcastle. Hitherto I have given your Grace, but little trouble by letters from hence, because I know too well the vallue of your Grace's leisure to think much of it ought to be taken up in peruseing my observations. But an affair has lately happened upon which it would be allmost criminal in me to be silent, and therefore I unfold it to your Grace without further apology. About the beginning of September last, one Mauritius Vale, a person of figure and consequence in this country was convicted of a murder and received sentence of death accordingly. From what is to follow my Lord, you'll see the necessity of my saying (as the truth is) that the conviction of this person was owing to my doing the duty of my office, without favour or fear. For the people in general were as much surprized to see a man in my station act in earnest upon such an occasion as pleased at the proof that an Assembly man, and one of much land, could be brought to the gallows for any crime whatsoever. And the tradeing folks were so transported (for the person murdered was a merchant) that I received their publick thanks, since the tryal, particularly the Bristol men's, in a manner, neither inconsistent with my honour nor profit. But this, my Lord, is a kind of digression. The late President, Mr. Ayscough, was upon this in furious haste to secure the forfeiture to his family ; and immediately ordered a grant of the houses, lands and negros (which Vale held, and which were forfeited by his attainder) to be made ready for the Great Seal, in favour of his own son Mr. Thomas Ayscough. These houses, lands and negros at a very low computation are worth about fifteen hundred pounds. Now, my Lord, by the course of business here, all orders for grants and patents must be brought to the Attorney General who thereupon writes a warrant to the Clerk of the Patents, to make out such grant etc. before the same can be regularly pass'd. I presume the reason of this originally was, and still is, that the Attorney General might take care that no patents should pass, either repugnant to the King's Prerogative, or contrary to law. In this case, my Lord, I had some doubts from two different laws of this country, whether the President could lawfully grant away this forfeiture ; and therefore took some time to consider whether or no I should sign any warrant for passeing the patent. In the meanwhile H.M. Instructions to Genl. Hunter fell in my way (by which according to the directions therein, the President ought to govern himself) among which I found a very positive Instruction that no forfeitures should be granted away till H.M. was acquainted therewith, and his pleasure known thereupon. Upon this, my Lord, I absolutely refused to sign the warrant for this Patent, tho several arguments of several kinds and by several persons, as also some menaces, were used to induce me to do it. The consequence of this was, that the President being sick, and his friends apprehending the loss of this morsel, they prepared a patent, and fix'd the Great Seal to it without more ceremony. This I am told was done in his presence ; and his name wrote by one of the company at the lower end of the patent, at a time when he was hardly capable of giveing directions for so doing. However the Clerk of the Patents refused to put his name (according to the course here) for want of my warrant: and thus the grant was perfected, tho the patentee is now in actual possession of the premisses. I thought myself obliged to inform your Grace of this matter, to the end that H.M. Instructions may in some measure be fullfilled by H.M. being apprized of this forfeiture (because the present President may perhaps overlook it, as not happening in his government) and to the end that your Grace may be satisfied, that if it shall be H.M. pleasure to grant this forfeiture to any other person the present mock patent may very easily be vacated. If your Grace was to hear how H.M. Instructions have been treated here, I am sure it must fill you with indignation. The common expressions upon this occasion being Factum valet, quod fieri non debuit; and when the King finds Mr. Ayscough in England, he may punish him for the breach of his Instructions. I will make no reference from hence, but hope that I shall see no more commanders of this Island, whom we may not expect to find in England, if they deserve to be called to an account. For my part, my Lord, I own I have in view by this lettr. the recalleing to your Grace's memory, a person to whom you was once so good as to promise your Grace's protection, while he continued to deserve it. And I therefore humbly beg leave to put your Grace in mind of the condition I was lately in here for refuseing to do what I thought a breach of my oath and my duty. For if Mr. Ayscough had not, luckily for me, died at the time he did, I was irretrievably condemned for that single crime of non-feazance, to be suspended from my office, and put to the fatigue and expence of a voyage to England to sue for justice before H.M. in Council. After begging your Grace's pardon for this long letter, I will conclude that from what I have heard and seen ; I mean of our great men in this country ; I know not how soon I may be compelled to wait at your Grace's door in hopes of that protection, which it shall be the ambition of my life to deserve ; but your Grace may rest assured, that while I live, I will never come with any case that may shame my Patron. And I doubt not if justice and integrity appear to vouch for me, I shall be nevertheless notic'd by your Grace, tho I am your Grace's poor but dutifull servant. Signed, Mat. Concanen. 3½ pp. [C.O. 137, 55. ff. 211–212 v.]